Toronto Blue Jays: Why sell now?

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Marcus Stroman
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 03: Marcus Stroman /

Here at Jays Journal we don’t have an “editorial mandate” so to speak, in that you’ll see our contributors offer up differing opinions on occasion.

In that regard I wanted to remind our readers that we now live in an age of parity in Major League Baseball: the Bud Selig era fashioned this by creating extra divisions (the Central divisions in both leagues) as well as the Wild Cards.

By virtue of those changes to the game, we now perenially have multiple teams that have a realistic chance of having a post-season berth. For example, one need not look further than the respected voice of pundit Mike Ferrin, who recently pointed out on MLB Network Radio that as things currently stand, if the status quo were to remain, the Kansas City Royals could secure a wild card with a paltry record of just 83 wins (2 games over.500).

With that in mind the Jays look like a team far from throwing in the towel, with a strong showing in the Bronx yesterday afternoon.

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This would also seem an appropriate time to remind ourselves that statistically speaking, the majority of prospects flame out and never make it into the show, or if they do, make a marginal impact. To that end, it seems the Jays front office, and front offices in general seem to overvalue their prospects.

As much as we are excited by our A-ball All-Stars, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the pitching they are facing doesn’t come close to resembling the stuff major league arms offer. As strong as Bichette and Guerrero are, if they are able to climb up the ranks of the Jays’ farm system, we won’t see them in a Jays uniform as starters until at least 2019 or more realistically 2020.

Aside from Noah Syndegaard, the prospects our previous GM dealt in order to construct the dominant Jays teams of 2015 and 2016 have been at best, back of the rotation starters with earned run averages over 4. These include previously “prized” prospects as Jeff Hoffman, Daniel Norris and Kendall Graveman. This isn’t to say any of these pitchers might not eventually flourish, but they are certainly not impact arm/franchise players.

While we’re on the subject, even Noah Syndegaard is no sure bet, currently sidelined with the Mets in an extended DL stint, directly as a result of his velocity – not exactly a recipe for longevity. The other player in that infamous Mets deal was Travis D’arnaud. Add him to the players already mentioned – a prospect that was highly regarded at one time, but when tested against Major League pitching has shown himself to be of no real consequence for the most part. We don’t have to stop there – remember Anthony Gose? He was salivated over by scouts all around. They loved his speed and ability to cover such a large amount of outfield ground. He certainly didn’t “come to fruition”, with the Detroit Tigers organization, who are attempting to turn him into a relief pitcher.

All this to ask, why NOT trade prospects for current bona fide stars (with club control, if we’re talking the Marlins, and/or how about another stud in the ‘pen in Brad Hand, the lights out set-up man in San Diego)? The Miguel Montero deal isn’t a huge signal, but one nonetheless, that the Blue Jays are not done competing.

One other factor we would be remiss not to mention should the organization choose to dismantle the team, would be the certain steep decline in ticket sales, concessions and merchandise. I’m not a mathematician, but the projected loss of revenue to ownership would be substantial to say the least. Let there be no doubt, that fans will not pay hard-earned money to watch a team self destruct at the hands of its front office.

I hope this piece offers, at the very least, some sober second thoughts to some of the outlandish trade ideas currently being bandied about. The notion of dismantling our starting rotation by dealing multiple arms such as Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano, in my eyes is a total impossibility: who would fill those rotation spots? Conner Greene and Sean-Reid Foley are not ready to be thrown into a Major League rotation and I doubt Toronto fans would tolerate a rotation of the likes of Mike Bolsinger and Joe Biagini et. al. for the remainder of the season.

Next: Blue Jays' Stroman will be a trade target: Olney

This could all prove moot though if yesterday’s win was an aberration. But what if the Jays win tomorrow, and go on to beat up on the Astros? Stranger things have happened.

Why, maybe, be an impact club in 2020 if you still have a shot at winning in 2017?