Are the Blue Jays Well Prepared for a Possible Rebuild?

Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Anthony Alford (30) works out prior to their spring game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Anthony Alford (30) works out prior to their spring game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Optimist – A Plethora of High-Upside Players

It’s no secret that the Blue Jays’ roster is an aging one. Whether it is this season or the next, Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins will have their hands full as they try to smoothly transition away from the current core of Bautista, Donaldson, Tulowitzki, and Martin.

Luckily, the Blue Jays have many prospects in the minor leagues that profile as high-upside talent to go along with young stars already at the MLB level. Even without trading away veterans for more quality prospects, the Blue Jays roster in 2-3 years looks like it could already boast some of the game’s premier young stars.

In the rotation, the Blue Jays figure to have a very solid top three of Sanchez, Stroman, and Reid-Foley while in the infield, the Jays can expect to see Tulowitzki, Travis, Tellez, and possibly even Guerrero Jr. handling the everyday duties. The outfield could boast two of the most athletic players in the game in Kevin Pillar, or “Superman”, and Anthony Alford, a football player turned baseball wunderkind. Russell Martin would likely be done catching every day at that point with McGuire or potentially even Pentecost looking to secure the starting catcher job. The bullpen, too, looks to have a very strong core with Osuna closing and Biagini acting as his primary set-up man (although the Blue Jays could look to transition Biagini into the rotation) with high-upside prospects like Greene joining the mix.

All in all, the Blue Jays already have a very strong team they can roster in the near future. If the 2017 team continues to struggle and a rebuild, or even retool is necessary, top prospects acquired from trading away Estrada, Bautista, Liriano, Happ, and potentially even Donaldson could further help the Blue Jays build a young, athletic team. It is also important to mention the 2018 free agent class, hailed by front offices and analysts as the best to ever hit the market. By then, if the Jays take on an overhaul, they could have the money to lure in a big star or multiple above-average players to finish the rebuild.

So while Jays fans have finally become accustomed to some winning baseball, sacrificing one or two years for a potential dynasty looks like an opportunity that is too good to pass up.

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