This week, the “insiders” at ESPN put together a list “to measure how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years.” In case you missed the headline and the graphic directly above these words, the Blue Jays were ranked 6th overall.
Pretty exciting stuff for Jays fans and not all that surprising either. Unfortunately, the 6th place rank puts the Jays 4th in the AL East (behind the Yankee’s 2nd, Rays 3rd and Red Sox 5th).
The article is a nice reminder for Jays fans that the club is on the right path, despite their tight purse strings this winter. It’s for paying subscribers only, so if that does not include you, here is what Buster Olney and Jim Bowden wrote about the Jays:
In any other division, Toronto probably would have made the playoffs a couple of times over the past decade, and no team will benefit from the extra wild card as much as the Jays. Of course, they could be in position to win the AL East outright very soon.
Not only do they have arguably baseball’s best hitter (Jose Bautista), phenom (Brett Lawrie) and farm system, they have virtually no long-term commitments. They are probably one or two pitchers from winning this division and have the payroll flexibility and trade chips to make it happen. This sleeping giant is almost ready to wake up. – Buster Olney
The next step
Lawrie will be a fixture in Toronto’s lineup for years, but the Jays still will need a big bat to accompany him and Bautista. Toronto should pursue Canadian Joey Votto if he becomes available in a trade or as a free agent. – Jim Bowden