Big League Chew: Blue Jays Off Season

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SD: Many are suggesting that this could be the end of the line for Alex Anthopoulos if things don’t go well for this club. I’m of two minds. He’s had plenty of opportunity to build a winner, made some bold moves, drafted some good kids, etc. The fact that he’s been able to do these things suggests that he has been given the power to do so. But, if the moves you make during that time of freedom do not work out, you are solely to blame. However, I also feel that he’s done an amazing job given the behind the scenes parameters that have been imposed upon him. The fact that he was able to pull off any of the creativity he’s displayed is a sign of just how good a job he’s done. As well, it shows ownership that he is perfectly capable of colouring within the lines and creating works of art.  

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

RM: I have always struggled with this. If we just look at the moves made to the big league club, then he is 50/50. If we look at the steps taken to improve the farm system, then he should continue being the Blue Jays GM beyond 2015. Some would argue Alex’s inability to sign the teams 1st round draft picks in his first few seasons actually worked against developing the farm system and they’d be right. However, we can’t ignore the impact of signing International free-agents and drafting high risk high reward high school prospects has had on our system. Because I am such a strong supporter of player development, I say he should stay beyond 2015 despite the team’s record at season’s end. Ultimately, Alex’s fate as Blue Jays GM will hinge more on who Paul Beeston’s successor is than how the team finishes in the standing.

SD: That’s likely true. I really don’t think he should be judged too harshly on the moves he’s made that didn’t turn out. He took risks, which you have to do when you’re trying to win. Sometimes, those risks do not pan out. The Miami deal hasn’t really worked out in producing a winner, but it did provide solid performances from Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes that this club wouldn’t have had otherwise. The R.A. Dickey move can be judged either way. I look at it like this: What would we have if the deal had not been made? Noah Syndergaard hasn’t really established himself yet. But, who would have been making the starts instead? Ricky Romero? Not every move pans out. But, if he had sat on his prospects and not tried to win, imagine the storm from fans. He has tried. And, he’s done so under tight controls. His ability to build the system and make bold MLB moves has earned him the right to stay.

Jul 13, 2012; Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

RM: Of all the prospects that AA has sent the other way in trade, how many of them have made us regret the trade? Henderson Alvarez? Tim Collins? Maybe Travis D’Arnaud, but not yet. Alex has moved pieces that have potential so that his club can compete today. He has done this and has still managed to hold onto 3 stud arms and a CF that could all be major contributors in the upcoming season. On top of this, he has managed to build the best farm system that I’ve seen since the early ’90’s. Alex’s track record for free-agent signings is pretty good. Last season he was criticized for not signing Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez. Of the two, Santana was the one AA was going after and look at the year he had and look at the year Jimenez had. Alex deserves to keep his job. He has done more for this organization than JPR ever did.


SD: I agree with you. In this day and age of increasing frustration, Blue Jays fans may be looking to point the finger of blame at someone, anyone. Unfortunately, Alex Anthopoulos is that target. Well, he is the target after pointing at Rogers. But, we can’t fire ownership. So, it would appear that (depending on who the new president is) AA is on the hot seat. Rightly or wrongly.

RM: Couldn’t agree more. I’ll end up routing for whichever team he is running in 2016, unless it’s a team in the AL East.

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