Does Alex Anthopoulos have the Billy Beanes to improve Blue Jays
Hello Jays Journal readers!
I came across this piece (give it a read) by Richard Justice from MLB.com on the off-season transformation that Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane has laid on his team. A team, may I remind you, that’s made the playoffs each of the past three years. In the piece, Justice, also mentions the Tampa Bay Rays new GM Matt Silverman’s busy off-season, in an attempt to stay competitive in his cash strapped market.
As a fanatic fan in a market that is craving for a glimpse of competitive baseball in September and even the tiniest sniff of the playoffs, I’m perplexed as to way any GM would go around trading their best players when they already have such a competitive team.
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The short answer…..these GM are no longer satisfied with just tasting the playoffs, they are no longer satisfied with getting to the dance only to sit in the corner and go home after one song. They refuse to stay complacent.
This got me thinking about my Toronto Blue Jays GM, good ol’ AA, Alex Anthopoulos and the off-season he is now having…..for that matter all his off-seasons. Being a big AA supporter, it was tough for me to look at his tenure with the Jays as anything but a positive feeling. He’s made good moves over his tenure as Jays GM. Moves the have added talented players to a nucleus that consists of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarncion.
This off-season, AA has continued to added to this nucleus that now includes Jose Reyes, Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin, and two aging pitchers whose best attributes are their ability to pitch 200 innings. I’m not saying that any of the previously mentioned players are exceptionally good players, quite the opposite, these guys are All-stars.
Billy Beane and Matt Silverman refused to add pieces because they knew the team, as it was constructed, just wasn’t good enough. Instead of adding to the problem, they decided to take a more extreme route, one that I don’t believe that Alex has the ‘Billy Beanes’ to take. Other than Doc, which he had no choice in dealing and got SFA for, who is the biggest name Alex has moved? Yunel Escobar? Brett ‘on the DL, off the DL’ Lawrie? definitely not JA Happ or Jason Frasor.
The truth is that AA has done a great job of building a farm system. He’s used his prospects as currency to acquire pieces for the Jays, instead of letting them develop and began major leaguers. Imagine the return if Marcus Stroman were traded at the end of 2015 after following up an impressive 2014 debut with an equally impressive sophomore season.
This team remains a patch work team with some very good pieces and some very promising young arms; however, they continue to lack any semblance of an everyday second baseman (how years are we going on???), they lack a true ACE, they have zero idea who is going to closing out games in 2015, their bullpen is in disrepair, and they are trusting CF to a kid who was playing for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League in 2014.
It was completely understandable for AA to try to win with this group in 2014, after all he over paid for them. After falling short again for the second year in a row, AA should have made the bold moves this off-season. He should have looked at this group and came to the realization that his young promising pitchers are too young to carry the load and that his star players are not winners.
I hope that I am wrong, but I know that I’m not. Here’s to another 3rd place finish….GoJaysGo.