To sell or not to sell that is the question the Toronto Blue Jays front office will be facing as the trade deadline looms in the not so distant future.
The Toronto Blue Jays are 33-35 still trying to get over the .500 hump as they head to Texas for a 4-game series. The Jays still occupy the basement in the AL East, one game behind the Baltimore Orioles and 5.5 games behind the top seed New York Yankees who have lost six in a row.
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are perched in the Wild Card spots with the Jays a mere two games back, however, they would have to leapfrog the Twins, Orioles, Rangers, Angels, and Royals to get there.
The Blue Jays are fortunate to be where they currently are seeing the dreadful start to the season they endured for the entire month of April. The Jays have been jinxed with a slew of injuries all season long but are nearing full health as pitcher Aaron Sanchez nears his return.
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The perplexing dilemma Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins will be facing is what direction the club should take rounding into the deadline. The Blue Jays could benefit from a left-fielder and possibly another late inning reliever but I am not sure that will put them over the hump.
The current squad is going to have to prove they are contenders and not pretenders before the front office seriously looks to improve the team for a postseason push. The tricky part will be to do it without sacrificing any minor league assets.
Mark Shapiro recently spoke with Arash Madani of Sportsnet and confirmed the Jays position.
"We’re in a position where we have a lot of talent. The team will make the decision for us. Wish it would be clearer, but our only mindset right now is that we look at ourselves in the thick of things."
"We’re hoping we separate ourselves because we have the talent to do it. That’ll make it certainly easier to make a decision. We’re looking for ways to get better."
"Hasn’t been one thing consistently that’s been an issue. At times our defense hasn’t been good, starting pitching has been by and large pretty good, but we’ve had hiccups there, And offense hasn’t bee on track the way we wanted."
Shapiro’s comments make perfect sense, the Jays need to prove they are contenders and gain some ground in the standings before the brain trust begins to mortgage the future to win now. Once they commit to improving then they need to figure out what upgraded position would benefit their chances at winning the most.
Definitely not an easy task especially when you have to imagine every opposing general manager is going to mutters the words “Vladdy” and “Bo” when discussing potential prospects.
Regardless it should be an interesting in the coming weeks on deciding whether the 2017 Blue Jays are contenders or pretenders.