September 18, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos speaks during a press conference addressing offensive comments written on the eye black of infielder Yunel Escobar (not pictured) before a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Extreme Makeover Make Rebuild Look Pointless?

If you’re a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays or just a fan of baseball in general you can’t help but applaud Alex Anthopoulos for adding the “final pieces” to the Blue Jays roster this offseason to make them considered a legitimate contender. When you really think about it though what team wouldn’t be considered a contender after adding the insane amount of talent the Jays did this offseason.

The Houston Astros are projected to be the worst team in baseball in 2013 by a lot of people. There’s a reason for that. Their “ace” Bud Norris has never even put up a 2 WAR season in his career. The Astros were also dead last in baseball in runs scored last season. They probably wouldn’t be a contender if they made the exact same moves as the Jays did this offseason. You could easily argue that every other team in baseball would be a contender if they had the Jays offseason.

It’s with that thought you can’t help but think the Blue Jays could have contended in AA’s first season as GM in 2010 if he went all out in his first offseason like he did this offseason.

Now obviously you’d have to be extremely naive to assume the circumstances would be the same. The Blue Jays didn’t have a stacked farm system back then. Rogers probably wouldn’t be in a hurry to “loosen the purse strings” for a rookie GM who tells them he can build a winner in one offseason.

There’s also the fact that extremely unique circumstances helped the Jays this offseason. You’re not exactly finding a fire sale, a 2 year wonder coming off a PED suspension and a 38 year old CY Young Award winner willing to sign a team friendly contract because of his age or whatever reason in another offseason let alone in just one.

So if you’re willing to overlook how the Blue Jays would even go about acquiring the level of talent they did this offseason in AA’s first offseason then let’s go.

I’d be more than willing to put money on a 2010 Blue Jays team that adds the rotation strength the Jays did this offseason to a team that could have kept Roy Halladay and had Ricky Romero and Shaun Marcum.

If the Jays did add quality starting pitching to the rotation it would make sense for them to add hitters of Reyes and Melky’s quality to compliment Aaron Hill and Adam Lind. The hilarious thing is even though Hill and Lind were terrible in 2010, Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells and John Buck all came out of nowhere to have above average hitting seasons so adding offense still would have made sense. If you’re a believer in lineup protection and a deeper lineup taking pressure off players then maybe Hill and Lind have better seasons to.

The 2009 Redsox and 2010 Yankees both won the AL wild card with 95 wins so that’s how many games the Jays would have needed to win to at least make the playoffs. For a team that was just in year 1 of AA’s rebuilding process they weren’t that far off with 85 wins. 85 wins is also a safe bet on the amount of wins the 2012 and 2013 Jays would have without injuries or significant changes this offseason.

Even if AA adding the exact same amount of talent in his first offseason as he did in this one doesn’t get the Jays into the playoffs in 2010 it probably would have eventually if you assume the Jays make the right moves the off-season’s after. The amount of wins for the wild card winner has gone down since 2010 with the Rays winning just 91 games in 2011 and the Orioles and Rangers both winning just 93 games in 2012.

If AA could have found a way to bring in the same amount of quality and quantity of talent in his first offseason as he managed to this offseason the Jays might have never needed to rebuild in the first place.

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  • RyanMueller

    That is a lot of ‘if’s’. I like your pie in the sky thinking though. This all happen because of Loria. AA did his part, but without Loria, the biggest offseaon move for AA would have be signing Izturis and maybe a couple other guy of his level. Melky does sign with the Jays unless Loria has the fire sale, and AA does purse the Dickey trade if the trade with Loria never happens (IMO). Not taking anything away from the ninja.

  • es0terik

    This article is ridiculous. Almost every single prospect used to trade for the players we acquired this year was obtained through the rebuilding process of the last few years. It’s just asinine to assume that there was any way to make anything close to these acquisitions back then. The rebuild is the only reason why the Jays have this team. If you went through with your horrible idea of trying to contend immediately in 2009, Bautista might never have gotten the playing time he needed to emerge, Encarnacion and Morrow likely wouldn’t be on this team, Lawrie would still be a Brewer, you never pick up d’Arnaud, Gose or Drabek, and you get nowhere near the caliber of players as Reyes, Dickey and Johnson with the trash farm system we had back then (Ranked 28 out of 30). This is just the absolute epitome of the fact that people are just desperate to right about something these days.

    • Joshua Menezes

      I addressed everything you’re complaining about bro. I pointed out the fact that the Jays didn’t have the farm system back then. I’m guessing you just skimmed through it cause I even went as far to say “if you’re willing to overlook how the Blue Jays would even go about acquiring the level of talent they did this offseason in AA’s first offseason let’s go”. Obviously you’re not willing to overlook that and that’s fine. It’s just a hypothetical.

      • es0terik

        No it’s not a “hypothetical”. It makes absolutely no sense to be “willing to overlook that”. Overlooking the elite farm system we had makes this entire thing redundant.

  • Hobbyhorse

    AA stockpiled alot of draft picks and prospects like Mills, Alvarez, Marisnick, Perez, Rzepczynski, Emaus, Snider, Thigpen etc… He then turned around and cashed in on those prospects and picks. You look at the Jays top prospects in 2009 and only 3 are on the roster. That being Arencibia, Jenkins and Cooper. And out of that only one of them is an everyday starter. There are prospects that have failed to develop somewhat and most of them were traded away. They were used as trade chips to acquire big league players. This past year AA has traded 5 of the Jays top 10 prospects. Basically half of their best up and coming players were dealt for established major league talent.

  • Hogan_believe71

    The only part of the article that I agree with is ‘Pointless’. So you’re telling me that if the Blue Jays had managed to compile the same level of talent in 2010 as they have in 2013, then they would not have had to rebuild? Gee, solid deductive skills. That probably would have been true in 2011. And 2012. And 2009 for that matter.
    I guess what you’re trying to say is that good teams are good. Glad to know that. Josh, seriously man you have to start writing some articles that provide useful or original information.