Is Jose Bautista Needed in Toronto Anymore?


Some would say that Jose Bautista is the heart and soul of the team. He epitomizes what the current regime is striving to accomplish. The next wave of Blue Jays superstar that could be the face of a playoff baseball team in Toronto. What Carlos Delgado, Roy Halladay, Shawn Green and Shannon Stewart were to some degree. What A.J. Burnett and David Wells wanted to be.

Recent events have me wavering. Have me wondering if this current core of players can truly take the Blue Jays to the hallowed grounds of the MLB Playoffs. Playoffs that some of the writers on this wonderful website of have yet to experience, or at least remember. The same patterns are emerging. Start off slow, then go on a huge winning streak to get into the thick of things only to slowly let it slip through the cracks…sloppiness starts to take it’s wretched hold and then one day: outside looking in.

This team is not infallible. It is not without fault, much like about 25 other teams around the majors. Back in 1990, Pat Gillick thought the same thing and in one off-season changed the course of very good into great. He made the tough decision to move a fan favourite and a possible future Hall of Famer for another future Hall of Famer and fan favourite.

Perhaps it’s time to shake up that core. When Jose Bautista arrived he wasn’t considered part of that core at first. He was a journeyman who had yet to find his way with various teams…5 in one season in 2010. An innocent player swap left him bound for Toronto from Pittsburgh (for Robinson Diaz) and the Bautista we know suddenly appeared.

He gave the Toronto fan something to cheer for again. An offensive star in the vein of Delgado but with more of an everyman streak to him. He blossomed late but when he did he became feared in all corners of MLB for his ferocious power and his ability to prove that you should never give up. He was inspirational…still is to a degree.

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He sat as the originator of the new core of Blue Jays. The ones that would give the fans optimism going into each season. He was the face of the franchise and revelled in it and represented himself professionally. He was able to bask in the glow of being the elite. His patience at the plate along with his gun for an arm moved him from third base to right field where he has been an underrated defender proving he wasn’t just a one trick pony. He had the ability to carry this team through the tough times.

Or so we were led to believe. In the seasons since the Blue Jays have made noise but so far it was for naught. It led them only to disappointment. Big trades were made. Small trades were made. Deft drafting was the norm for the current regime and it seemed to hint that we were following the right path. Are they still following that path?

After the 11 game win streak this season the Blue Jays again fell back to earth…well one game below it. The cracks in the armour were seen again and even with an otherworldly offense, the Blue Jays just don’t seem able to pitch themselves to the promised land. This core doesn’t have what it takes. Perhaps that core needs to change…thus Jose Bautista needs to go.

There is a new core building through Josh Donaldson and Russ Martin. Through Devon Travis and Roberto Osuna. The talent is there but the chemistry seems amiss. So to remedy that I say it is time to find a suitor with some front line starting pitching and a fill in outfielder who could use the same shake up. Boston? Cleveland? Pittsburgh? Seattle? Philly? Milwaukee? All seem to run in the same vein and perhaps could have the bodies needed to satiate this fan base into finally cheering on a potential winner. So the solution? Trade Jose Bautista.

……now that you have stopped throwing things at the screen and calling me ungodly names, just listen. It may be a better time to trade him in the off-season, but sometimes you have to take great risks. Great risks can bring greater rewards. It’s too bad Jose won’t be here for the playoffs but the same can be said for Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and the rest who suffered through 20+ years without playoff baseball. The Jays played it safe and it went nowhere. If this doesn’t work…well…nothing else has worked so far.

There is a possibility of a trade being made for a starter with the kids we have. We have a few. But to get the kind of starter we need we would have to give up the farm like we did to Miami and New York. Those were the trade our surplus type of deals. Can we afford to bare the farm for a potential rental player? Not anymore. We need to be top 5 in terms of organizational depth in order to sustain success (see Rays, Tampa Bay). If we keep selling off the future then there is nowhere to go except the same old same old.

So what do you think? Would Bautista get us the arm we need and save the arms we have for the future? Discuss in the comments below.

Next: Blue Jays stranding Dickey as he finds groove?

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