Big League Chew: Blue Jays Off Season
1) BEST MOVE THIS OFF-SEASON
SD: Without a doubt, the best move this offseason is orchestrating the trade for Josh Donaldson. AA managed to pry one of the best players in baseball away from Billy Beane, who on several occasions said that would be impossible. AA traded promising players for a stud right now! That’s huge. But, we may actually find that AA’s best move was not making a move at all. He’d been rumored to be linked to many free agents. If Rogers had actually paid for all of the guys the Blue Jays were linked to, they’d be near the top of the league in payroll. But, AA avoided big spending on multiple guys. Some will use the Martin signing as evidence of big spending. But, considering the rumours, it could have been much worse. Now the Blue Jays have financial flexibility moving forward, either for mid-season or next. Winning now doesn’t mean blindly swinging for the fences now.
Toronto Blue Jays
RM: This one is easy, it’s not Donaldson, it’s not Russell Martin, and it isn’t even Michael Saunders. In fact it isn’t a player at all. The hiring of Brook Jacoby and moving away from Kevin Seitzer may prove to be the best move, not the biggest, of the 2015 off-season. It’s my opinion that all of Seitzer’s chatter between innings had a negative impact on offense. A close second would have to be moving guys out that were viewed as disruptive to the clubhouse. Addition by subtraction.
SD: This is an interesting point. Perhaps the behind the scenes factors will prove to be better this year. This often goes unnoticed because you can’t really quantify it. But, like Dalton Pompey said when he was on our show, there were clearly guys who didn’t play for the team. Is it a coincidence that the last time this was an issue (albeit a bigger one) John Gibbons was at the helm. I like Gibby, a lot, but he has shown a severe inability to gather the troupes. Where Joe Maddon excels at team chemistry, etc, John Gibbons has failed over and over again.
May 17, 2014; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
RM: This will be Gibby’s last year to prove he can guide the ship to the post-season. I really hope that Brook Jacoby is able to teach the Pompeys and Goins’ of this team to grind out quality at-bats. Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin, Jose Reyes and Josh Donaldson know how to work the count and get on base with regularity. Jacoby’s task, like Seitzer, is to teach the kids.
SD: With any luck, Jacoby will be able to do that. IF he can, then all of the other moves should pay off nicely. Imagine all of those “big guns” doing what they’ve been brought in to do and all of the younger guys who we doubt coming in and doing what we expect them NOT to do. It would be a fun time to be a Jays’ fan.
RM: Whether the kids hit or not, Jacoby may only get a year with them. If Gibbons is unsuccessful in guiding the Jays to the promised land, then this entire staff, including Alex, will get the axe.