Are you a betting person? As of Sunday, Fangraphs.com put the Blue Jays playoff chances thusly: ALDS: 11.1%, ALCS: 5.9%, WS: 2.7%. VegasInsider.com has them a 25/1 longshot to win the World Series. With this information in hand, let’s pretend you are the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. You’ve watched your team through the highs of an 11 game win streak. You’ve watched them spin their tires in the division race. You’ve watched a very clear list of needs develop. Right now, you’re sitting with a hand that could win. But, it’s no slam dunk. It could just as easily blow up in your face. There are lots of other players at the table with smirks and grins. What do you do with all of this information?
There are 3 options here. The Blue Jays could become buyers and say “Hit me”. They could fold their hand and become sellers. Or, they could take their chances with things the way they are and stand pat.
Toronto Blue Jays
Much of the past couple weeks has been written about the Blue Jays needing starting pitching and scouring MLB for the right fit; the one that will cost what they are willing to pay. Less has been written about the club throwing in the towel and selling off players of value. Could Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Encarnacion or even Jose Bautista be flipped and turned into valuable pieces for a future run? Each of these has their own difficulties, but that doesn’t stop some fans from suggesting the Blue Jays blow everything up and start again.
The third option is to stay. This is something that we’ve come accustomed to as Blue Jays fans, but haven’t heard much about. Last season, the club’s lone move was to bring in Danny Valencia, which essentially equated to standing pat. This frustrated fans greatly. But, it might be something that we face yet again.
The possibility of pulling off a major trade has its own odds. Depending on the deal and the associated cost, the odds could be slim. Let’s also remember that even if a big deal takes place, it may not even bring playoff glory anyway. So, then what? Well, in order for the Blue Jays to go the opposite route, they’d have to not only give up on this year, but the next one as well. Trading off Reyes, Bautista and Encarnacion means giving up their contributions in 2016. Some will argue that the club won’t bring both Joey Bats and EE back anyway since it costs too much. But, the club options look pretty good right now. Regardless, are the Blue Jays really willing to go all in one off season and then sell everything not even a year later? Are they willing to do that and wait even longer while the rebuild efforts take hold? Likely not.
So, then a very real possibility is that the Toronto Blue Jays stay with the hand they’ve been dealt. Could they stand pat? Why would they? Well, perhaps, GM Alex Anthopoulos thinks that he’ll be getting some upgrades mid summer without giving up a cent or a prospect.
Aaron Sanchez is set to return, albeit as a bullpen arm. Michael Saunders (remember him?) is thought to return in August. Heck, maybe AA is even hoping Marcus Stroman can return in time to help out, assuming there is meaningful baseball in September. That’s only 6 weeks away, folks! Could a call up of Dalton Pompey help this club? These are not the moves fans have been screaming for and certainly won’t be headline grabbers. But, that doesn’t change the positive impact they’ll have, small as they are.
Let’s add to that, the rotation has been bad. But, does AA believe that it can’t possibly stay that bad? If they can just simply perform to their expected capabilities, it wouldn’t be so bad, right? Mark Buehrle has been great! He’s not an ace. R.A. Dickey has been good, too. He’s not getting any run support. He’s not an ace. Is it out of the realm of possibility for the rest of the rotation to keep this club in the race by being like the older two? Maybe the Blue Jays don’t need an ace. Maybe they just need the rotation to play at its expected level.
If you’re Alex Anthopoulos, how deeply do you believe in all of the above? Do you use these to help you be OK with testing your luck and staying? Saying “Hit me” might be too expensive. Folding might cause all out anarchy in Blue Jays land. So, is waving your hands over your cards a happy middle ground? Is it good enough? Take our poll below!