Blue Jays should follow the Yankees’ blueprint to success
Should the Blue Jays re-tool or rebuild? After watching the Yankees over the last few seasons, they’ve had a front row seat to a successful re-tool, and it could work for them too.
Any time a season ends in disappointment, the winds of change are usually quick to follow. That will happen in Toronto this offseason, but it still remains to be seen just how strong those winds might be.
If you are keeping up with the discussion around the Blue Jays since the beginning of September, a lot of the talk has surrounded whether they should re-tool or rebuild. If they re-tool, it means they have enough pieces in their organization, that they believe they can be competitive with a few tweaks, and a little patience in their minor league system. Obviously a rebuild would be a lot more aggressive sell off of veterans, and a steeper hill into decline for the franchise.
On one hand, the argument to rebuild makes sense, as the team is flooded with aging veterans, and it appears that the window of contention for this group might be over. However on the other, there are several young and controllable pieces that serve as a great foundation, both in the present and in the future. Players like Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, and a hopefully healthy Devon Travis all bring plenty to the table, and the oldest of the group is just 26.
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You could poke some holes in the argument that they’re a great foundation, but the upside is there, and they’re not alone in the Blue Jays’ system either. Which is why a re-tool makes more sense if you ask me, especially after they’ve had a front row seat to the New York Yankees’ latest incarnation being formed, without a complete tear down.
The Yankees last qualified for the ALCS in 2012, and have played just one Wild Card game since then, back in 2015. They’ve had some good teams and you could argue they could have made a playoff push before now, but GM Brian Cashman has showed restraint, looking at the bigger picture and opting against band aid fixes for his roster. He was able to do this because he had several talented big leaguers already on the roster, and plenty of talent coming in the pipeline. Those players are now here, such as Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez for example, and combing them with the veteran presence on the team has been a recipe for the success.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, but the Blue Jays are in a comparable situation, and could very well opt for a similar approach. In addition to the four young pieces I mentioned above, they have star players currently on their roster such as Josh Donaldson, Justin Smoak, and more, and have at least an opportunity to keep them around for longer than another year or two. With looming stars like Vladimir Guerrero, Bo Bichette, and more in their minor league sysem, that might make the most sense.
I understand that 2017 was discouraging and disappointing for the near-term future of Blue Jays baseball, but a lot could change with a few fresh faces, a clean slate, and a healthier campaign. There is still a lot of talent on this roster, and with the right savvy tweaks, the Blue Jays could be closer to their next window of contention than we realize.