Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: 5 spring training conversations worth more time

Craig Borden
Feb 22, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) talks while he watches practice at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) talks while he watches practice at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

#2  –  There’s a new sheriff in town

After the big front office shift that dominated the early stages of Blue Jays offseason, many had written off the new management immediately.

New president Mark Shapiro failed to bring back David Price or make any high profile signings to replace the news starved fan base. This has left some fans with a bad taste in their mouths after an exciting trade deadline brought on by Alex Anthopoulos. The former fearless leader had become a hero to a nation and, for whatever reasons, has found a new home in LA.  Fans blame the new regime for the departure of Anthopoulos.

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Since Anthopoulos’s departure, Shapiro has been busy. He has hired Ross Atkins and reformed the front office with some of his people. That would even include bringing in former manager Eric Wedge as a player development advisor.

With management now stable gain, the team made a few easy decisions upfront by picking up the options for Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and R.A. Dickey. They then set sight on the pitching staff that could have been easily left bare. They resigned Estrada and brought in the resurgent J.A. Happ. Sure, none of the names are flashy, but they were smart baseball moves.  Price would have cost the team a ton of money and, in doing so, left many holes throughout the team. Instead, management has been spreading that money around and filling the organization with depth.

There have been a multitude of talented depth additions to the existing roster.  Jesse Chavez was brought in to compete for the 5th starter spot.  Drew Storen was acquired to help reassure the Jays bullpen.  Junior Lake was claimed off waivers.  Minor league deals have been signed by  David AardsmaRafael SorianoDomonic BrownTony SanchezRoberto Hernandez, and Brad Penny.  Gavin Floyd was signed to a one year deal to be used as a starter or bullpen arm.  This is the management setting the team up for long term success by filling the positions open with low risk high reward players.

Say what you want about the new management, but they are rounding off a fine roster with solid talent. The division-winning 2015 team is still intact for the most part, so they have put the final touches on the 25-man roster. They are still clearly bent on acquiring further talent as show by the recent news that the team nearly had Jay Bruce to be their new left fielder.  The collective mind that is the Blue Jays brain trust has a plan and they are working it.

Next: #1 - You make me want to break out!

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