5 less-obvious Blue Jays storylines to follow this spring
1 – Are the Blue Jays done in Dunedin?
Dunedin, Florida has always been the second home of the Toronto Blue Jays, but with their contract expiring at the end of next year, it’s uncertain whether the Blue Jays will make it work in familiar surroundings or leave for greener (and newer) pastures.
Not only is this a pivotal piece of business for the Blue Jays to handle, but it’s a substantial issue for the city of Dunedin.
“I think things look good,” mayor Julie Ward Bujalski told The Star. “I feel that the Blue Jays have a strong desire to be in Dunedin and I know that Dunedin has an exceptionally strong desire to keep them here. It’s a matter of how do you put together the deal.”
Shapiro and Bujalski met soon after the new president came aboard, and are expected to continue negotiations while the Blue Jays are in Florida.
Toronto did flirt with a Houston Astros partnership just three years ago that never materialized, and many have pointed to Shapiro’s experience in moving the Indians from Florida to Arizona as cause for concern. That could just as easily swing the other direction, however, if Shapiro’s initial moving experience revealed unforeseen challenges.
More blue jays: Which Blue Jay will shock by earning a 2016 roster spot?
The issue, of course, will be financial. Can the Blue Jays and Dunedin work together to build new facilities or upgrade the current ones?
Love it or leave it, there’s a certain charm to the Blue Jays calling Dunedin home. The one non-American team settling in longterm to a small community, and that’s what Bujalski is hoping this spring will show Shapiro and the rest of Toronto management.
“He’s going to see the community connection; he’s going to feel it,” she said. “We just need to be on our toes and prove ourselves. We’ve got to show him how much we care.”