Three Blue Jays named in Heyman’s ’25 Heroes for 2015′

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The Toronto Blue Jays continue to gain top-end- recognition outside of the Canadian market as they push towards October with Josh Donaldson and David Price in the conversation for baseball’s two most prestigious awards.

It continued earlier today in Jon Heyman’s Inside Baseball column, a weekly can’t-miss at CBS, where he listed his 25 “heroes” for the 2015 MLB season. The Blue Jays cracked the list three times, grabbing 1st, 12th and 24th. (Insert LeBron James voice: “Not one… Not twooo..”).

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Anthopoulos is now accepted league-wide as a general manager to fear, no longer the fresh-faced new kid on the block cleaning up a mess from past regimes or his earlier mistakes. While incoming president Mark Shapiro still has to finish up 2015 with the Cleveland Indians, Heyman also notes that “…he will bring back Alex Anthopoulos as GM.”

It was also refreshing to see Heyman give credit where much is due, but too little has been given: the supporting staff to Anthopoulos. “Hat tips for getting all those prospects in the first place to do those mega deals go to scouting director Andrew Tinnish, top evaluator Dana Brown and director of Latin operations Ismael Cruz.”

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Josh Donaldson lands number 12 on Heyman’s list as he believes the beloved third baseman should be the AL MVP this season, albeit by a slim margin over the ridiculously talented Mike Trout. L.A.’s Trout will surely grab six or eight more before his time is up in baseball, so why not let us have just one? “Beyond all the monster stats,” Heyman adds, “Donaldson’s brought an intensity to the Jays, who feature a much improved clubhouse all around.”

Toronto’s final inclusion on the list comes in the form of Marcus Stroman, the ultimate wild card that is poised to pay off in a big way following his incredible recovery from a torn ACL. Stroman gives the Blue Jays the potential of two true “stoppers” in their rotation who can shut a game down and steal a win, even on the nights this robust offense falls flat.

Also of note in the article, and music to the ears of some fans, is Heyman’s belief that the Blue Jays 5-year contract limit will be leaving with Paul Beeston. “It was Shapiro’s predecessor Paul Beeston’s rule not to go beyond five years on free-agent deals, but the new regime understands it will take more than five to keep ace David Price, and it won’t have such a rule.”

Admittedly, this rule has likely saved the Blue Jays from some ugly contracts in the past. There’s an argument to be made that this roster is better suited for a free agent mega-deal than ever before, though, with the possible return of David Price turning the Blue Jays into playoff favorites in 2016 and potentially beyond.

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