Blue Jays & MLB Trade Deadline: 5 Things that NEED to Happen

2 of 6

Jul 13, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos during batting practice before their game against the Cleveland Indians at the Rogers Centre. The Indians beat the Blue Jays 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Make a Decision

The very first thing that needs to happen for the Toronto Blue Jays in the coming days is that they need to make a final decision about whether they are going to commit to winning this season. For years, we’ve been hearing that GM, Alex Anthopoulos is dedicated to building a “sustainable winner”. To that end, he’s poured a great deal of effort into drafting and signing international free agents. He’s been building the farm system for years now with that goal in mind.

And, it is a noble, logical goal. But, there is an issue with that: it never ends; it’s not an end point. A team should never stop working this way. It is not like one day, they put their feet up on their desk and exhale deeply in satisfaction saying, “There. I’ve done it!”. No, this type of system building continues year after year, regardless of winning or losing. So, is that a realistic goal?

More from Jays Journal

Let’s pretend that it is. OK. Anthopoulos has done a good job of building up the Blue Jays’ system. And, part of that “building a winner” approach means signing big contracts and bringing in impact players when the time is right. This past winter, that was done. Russell Martin was signed. Josh Donaldson was brought in. And, now here we are at a pivotal point in the season. Will the Blue Jays continue the bold moves?

Well, the trade with Rockies is a bold move. And, it is one that indicates that the Blue Jays will be trying to improve; trying to compete. And, that is a good sign. But, if they really want to compete and make a push, a deal for pitching is what they need to do. Otherwise, they just spent a lot of capital to move Reyes. That’s about it. This team still has needs.

Thus far, in his tenure, it would seem that Anthopoulos is targeting team friendly contracts first. He nearly had a deal in place to acquire Carlos Carrasco from the Indians, but it fell through at the last minute. And, why not? The 4yr/$22M price tag is a steal. It is exactly the kind of team friendly contract Anthopoulos loves. It is the type of deal that sets the team up for an improvement this year and in the next few as well. It makes sense.

Except this kind of deal is rare on the market. What is available are generally short term fixes meant to give a shot in the arm to a hopeful team. Are the Blue Jays that team? They need to decide. And, quick. The trade market for starting pitching (or any other help for that matter) is going to fade quickly. If they take too long, they’ll be stuck with what’s left instead of what’s best. And, that may not solve their needs.

Next: The First Real Move the Blue Jays Need to Make