Toronto Blue Jays Fan Dilemma


Jays Journal was invited to the “State of the Franchise” address in order to take part in what could really be the turning point in franchise history. Well, the second turning point after the first pair of World series we took in the early 90s. Sadly, I was forced to decline and am unsure as to whether Jared and/or Scott will be able to attend, as I am currently on course in Winnipeg, earning my Wings in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

However, as I sat back after letting the Jays brass know that I couldn’t attend the event, I was faced with the same dilemma that every single Jays fan out there is forced to face every day of 2012. The dilemma is simple ans is as follows: we know the team is getting better and is close to something special, the questions are, how close and how special? That, my friends, is the Toronto Blue Jays Fan Dilemma.

As most MLB fans know, Alex Anthopoulos has been one of the, if not the, hardest working GMs in all of MLB for the last 2 years. That’s why you almost always see the Jays being linked to every single FA or trade rumor out there, he just seems to be involved in – or is suspected of being involved in everything.

Here’s what we know for certain. The Jays have 2 cornerstone pieces in Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie that other teams would kill to have. That duo alone makes the Jays a formidable team. We also know the Jays have one of the most under-rated pitching aces in MLB in Ricky Romero, and a newly-found closer in Sergio Santos that should help curtail the many late inning losses the Jays were submitted to in 2011.

We also know that help, and not the low-end kind, is on the way. From Travis d’Arnaud to Deck McGuire, the Jays could be the few AL East clubs actually holding players back so that they can give their in-house guys a chance to heighten their trade values. For example, do you give Travis Snider many ABs in order to get a better sense of where he stands, or do you call up Anthony Gose half-way through the season and trade Travis Snider for the value he builds in AAA? Such are the issues the Jays GM will have to work though as much of his built up talent gets close to being MLB ready.

Even for the Jays GM, it’s a dilemma.

This is just a hunch and one that is base solely on observations of recent Jays deals, but I have a feeling that the Jays GM will be eager and willing to deal much of his in-house talent for top-end controllable talent. Just as he has acquired Colby Rasmus and Sergio Santos by dealing pieces which didn’t seem critical to Jays success, he will be on the hunt for similar pieces in 2012. What that tells me, in all honesty, is that if the Jays are in contention in 2012 by the time the all-star break comes around, Alex Anthopoulos may have more ammunition than ever to bring the Jays to the next level through a wily deal or two.

But, as a Jays fan, how do you brag about that when talking to other MLB fans?

You can’t. All you can do, is sit and wait and point to the future as being a very, very bright one for the Toronto Blue Jays.

And thus stands the Toronto Blue Jays dilemma. How do you get behind a team that could go either way? Do you really believe the Jays ARE a playoff contending team for 2012? Or, do you simply contend that they have enough to be competitive and could become more competitive if the GM makes the right move or two?

Personally, I’m under the impression that the Jays are really on the cusp of something special. How special remains to be seen, and is part of the Jays fan dilemma, just how improved will this squad be? However, I know one thing for certain: there is more talent bubbling to the surface in the Jays organization than ever before, and to me, that’s more important than anything else.

Drew Hutchison, Deck McGuire, Chad Jenkins, Adeiny Hechavarria, Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael McDade, and many others are just itching to get a chance to prove themselves as they sit atop the charts of one of the top 5 minor league systems in all of MLB. Few franchises have comparable talents to what the Jays have from LoA to AAA. Does this mean the Jays will be able to count on them in 2012? Who knows? Who knew how Eric Thames would react to more playing time in MLB in 2012? Who knew that Henderson Alvarez would make the jump to MLB in order to put himself solidly in place for a rotation spot in 2012?

The truth of it all is that nobody knows for certain.

Aside from players who are incoming to help the current Jays regulars, I also know this for certain: the Jays and their fan base are both energized and looking for the results to prove what they already know, that something special, very special, is brewing in Toronto.

As I sit back here in Winnipeg, awaiting my next flight on the Gonzo, a Dash 8 military aircraft we use for training purposes, all I can think about is the Toronto Blue Jays and how soon they may win another championship. Do I brag about it and hype up the Jays to my friends? Not at all. I believe that the best way for Jays fans to settle the dilemma of how competitive the Jays will be in 2012 is to let the 2012 Toronto Blue Jays do the talking for them, on the field and unquestionably.

Anything else Jays fans do or say just doesn’t hold water until results warrant it. And there, my friends, lies the whole source of the Toronto Blue Jays fan dilemma. Until results are shown to the entire world, all of the work done by Alex Anthopoulos and how great it is becomes here-say.

The Toronto Blue Jays fan dilemma will continue, until the Toronto Blue Jays put up a championship….or two.

-MG

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  • http://cb cb1111

    @itsagameson @gnor exactly. you’re first not, sixth in offense.

    it’s hard to see how folks don’t recognize this key point. how they can’t correlate sixth best with ‘no playoff appearance’.

    it’s painful to read these sub-mental ‘fans’ applauding AA’s lack of roster improvement.

    santos? really? a converted fielder? don’t be surprised when he blows his sixth save by July.

    rasmus? really? don’t be surprised by his .240 BA and baseline .300 obp.

    bautista? hahahahahahahah. last year’s second half is his new ceiling. get ready for our new vernon wells and mike wilner constnatly saying after every loss “this isn’t JB, he will improve” ahahahahahah.

    this team reached it’s pinnacle before the all-star break last year and with the utter failure of this offseason will be hardpressed to keep pace with baltimore.

  • TodLazarov
  • jakely

    Mylegacy is dead on right. Go back and look at how rebuilds get done well. It’s all there. AA has to have studied how these get done properly, and with the amount of talent he’s collected in 2 short years, he’s one upping it. Way too many fans are not recognizing an architect at work here, but it’s what we now have. Getting good is the low end of the expectation spectrum.

  • Budyzer13

    I am excited to start this season and see what we have over a full shedule. In saying that I am not so naive to think that everyone is going to be lights out and we will win a wildcard. Inevitably some guys are going to fall on their faces and others will be called upon to show they are MLB ready. I hope the positives out weight the negatives and I think they will. If Cecil can’t regain his lost velocity I would look for AA to deal him and give a prospect a shot. McGowan won’t be able to pitch a full season as a starter so there’s another chunk of innings to fill. I would imagine AA is trying to find a starter ( Rich Harden ) at a price Rogers can live with. Or we will have to live through a bunch of bad starts until Deck McGuire or Hutchison gets some AAA starts under their belt. Thames is a beast this year ! He had off season surgery to attach some serious guns to his shoulders and looks like a prototypical DH which would be nice so EE5 can ride the pine/platoon 1B and Snyder could play LF. We may very well have to suffer through another year if rasmus doesn’t pick up his game, Lind is inconsistent again cause the prospects at those positions need more time

  • Budyzer13

    I am excited to start this season and see what we have over a full shedule. In saying that I am not so naive to think that everyone is going to be lights out and we will win a wildcard. Inevitably some guys are going to fall on their faces and others will be called upon to show they are MLB ready. I hope the positives out weight the negatives and I think they will. If Cecil can’t regain his lost velocity I would look for AA to deal him and give a prospect a shot. McGowan won’t be able to pitch a full season as a starter so there’s another chunk of innings to fill. I would imagine AA is trying to find a starter ( Rich Harden ) at a price Rogers can live with. Or we will have to live through a bunch of bad starts until Deck McGuire or Hutchison gets some AAA starts under their belt. Thames is a beast this year ! He had off season surgery to attach some serious guns to his shoulders and looks like a prototypical DH which would be nice so EE5 can ride the pine/platoon 1B and Snyder could play LF. We may very well have to suffer through another year if rasmus doesn’t pick up his game, Lind is inconsistent again cause the prospects at those positions need more time

  • JaysJournal

    @tmehl Thanks for the comment tmehl and I certainly hope the fans will bring the atmosphere you’re looking for. That’s what we try to do as bloggers, to get people gathered together in one place to get some excitement built around our teams. I won’t lie, the tone at Jays Journal has been getting rosier and rosier over the last 2 years, but for good reason. When your team has one of the best and deepest farm systems around, there’s a ton to be rosy about. When your team continues to lock up its stars to team friendly contracts, there’s a lot to be rosy about. When your team keeps getting the upper hand in trades, there’s a lot to be rosy about. And finally, when your team finally clears enough budget so that you know they have the space to add to the team if need be, there’s a lot to be rosy about.

    Yeah, we may all be a little rosy here, but we love the Jays, we love their prospects, and we love the direction the team is heading in. After a decade of JP Ricciardi and his sour dough outlook, it’s a refreshing place to be! Once the team starts winning as much as it should within the next 2 years, you’ll see the atmosphere you speak of. If the early 90s are a sign of things to come, you’ll be blown away by the baseball spirit that can envelop Toronto!!!

  • JaysJournal

    @tmehl Thanks for the comment tmehl and I certainly hope the fans will bring the atmosphere you’re looking for. That’s what we try to do as bloggers, to get people gathered together in one place to get some excitement built around our teams. I won’t lie, the tone at Jays Journal has been getting rosier and rosier over the last 2 years, but for good reason. When your team has one of the best and deepest farm systems around, there’s a ton to be rosy about. When your team continues to lock up its stars to team friendly contracts, there’s a lot to be rosy about. When your team keeps getting the upper hand in trades, there’s a lot to be rosy about. And finally, when your team finally clears enough budget so that you know they have the space to add to the team if need be, there’s a lot to be rosy about.

    Yeah, we may all be a little rosy here, but we love the Jays, we love their prospects, and we love the direction the team is heading in. After a decade of JP Ricciardi and his sour dough outlook, it’s a refreshing place to be! Once the team starts winning as much as it should within the next 2 years, you’ll see the atmosphere you speak of. If the early 90s are a sign of things to come, you’ll be blown away by the baseball spirit that can envelop Toronto!!!

  • RonB.Rown

    @itsagameson I’m iffy on contracts like Fielders. The very nature of a free agent signing – especially when you’re a team that players aren’t willing to take pay-cuts to come play for – is that you got the player because you were willing to spend more than anyone else would. The winning big is thus over-paying compared to what every other team was willing to pay. The Jays tend to have to overpay even more because coming here has negative consequences that don’t apply to American teams – e.g., no exposure on ESPN. You factor that in with a 9 years contract with an average value of 24M a year, and you’re taking on a lot of risk and inflexibility. I like the path that AA has gone – building a top-flight farm system and trading for high-upsiders like Rasmus and Sergio Santos. In terms of locking in future A-listers, buying out arbitration years of players like Romero and Lawrie is one GREAT approach. Another approach is to engage in mid-season prospects for prostars trades to acquire players on non-awful contracts that still have a few years left on them. If we pursue these non big money approaches a little longer the Jays will continue to build up their winning potential and hype and both of these factors will make Toronto a more desirable team for big money free agents. When we’re just a player or two away from being imminent playoff threats, that’ll be the time to go after those big free agents if they’re the best way to push us over the top. They’ll come cheaper (compared to the market) then than now, too, because Toronto will be a more desirable team to be on.

  • RonB.Rown

    @cb1111 @itsagameson @gnor That’s a whole lot of misguidedness in one comment there…..

  • RonB.Rown

    @itsagameson I’m iffy on contracts like Fielders. The very nature of a free agent signing – especially when you’re a team that players aren’t willing to take pay-cuts to come play for – is that you got the player because you were willing to spend more than anyone else would. The winning big is thus over-paying compared to what every other team was willing to pay. The Jays tend to have to overpay even more because coming here has negative consequences that don’t apply to American teams – e.g., no exposure on ESPN. You factor that in with a 9 years contract with an average value of 24M a year, and you’re taking on a lot of risk and inflexibility. I like the path that AA has gone – building a top-flight farm system and trading for high-upsiders like Rasmus and Sergio Santos. In terms of locking in future A-listers, buying out arbitration years of players like Romero and Lawrie is one GREAT approach. Another approach is to engage in mid-season prospects for prostars trades to acquire players on non-awful contracts that still have a few years left on them. If we pursue these non big money approaches a little longer the Jays will continue to build up their winning potential and hype and both of these factors will make Toronto a more desirable team for big money free agents. When we’re just a player or two away from being imminent playoff threats, that’ll be the time to go after those big free agents if they’re the best way to push us over the top. They’ll come cheaper (compared to the market) then than now, too, because Toronto will be a more desirable team to be on.

  • RonB.Rown

    @cb1111 @itsagameson @gnor That’s a whole lot of misguidedness in one comment there…..