Blue Jays- Why do I feel like I’ve seen this before?
By Craig Borden
Face of the franchise
The Blue Jays have been around since 1977 and have had plenty of players become the face of their generation. Whether this is George Bell, Jesse Barfield, Dave Stieb, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Shawn Green, Pat Hentgen, Carlos Delgado, Roy Halladay, Edwin Encarnacion, or Jose Bautista each generation has their guy. Many of these Blue Jays went on to other franchises for the peaks of their careers rather than staying in a Blue Jay uniform. Roberto Alomar went on to have some of his best seasons with the Orioles and the Indians. He even flirted with .400 for the majority of one season while being paired with Cal Ripken up the middle. Roberto Alomar was a two time World Series Champion and deserved a heck of a payday. He did have to leave Toronto to get that payday, however. This was a trend over the years as Jays fans watched Carlos Delgado and Roy Halladay play in the playoffs with their new teams at the turn of the millennium.
The Blue Jays new management has a chance to lock up the players that form the current faces of the franchise in Marcus Stroman and Josh Donaldson. The big question is are they ready to commit long-term to those players. Marcus Stroman should be a slam dunk as he is a young driven player. He wants the same thing as the Blue Jays organization and that is to win! Stroman is an exciting player that is still under team control but locking him up as the teams ace would send a message to the fan base.
Josh Donaldson is a more complicated question, however. The Bringer of Rain is still an MVP caliber player but as he is now 31 years old. The argument is not so much about money but the length of the contract. The Jays organization and Donaldson have both expressed the fact that they wish to stay together and make the Blue Jays great again but at what costs. Are the Blue Jays ready to commit to the Donaldson and hope he is still bringing the rain at the age of 36-38?
I think that the Blue Jays have missed out on enough production from players like Donaldson over the years. They have failed to sign talents like him long term and have watched those players crush it with their new teams. Donaldson is a grinder and will find a way to help his team. This is the kind of player you want leading your team one way or the other. Find a way to win and find a way to hold onto Josh Donaldson. Give him a Bobby Bonilla contract if you have to just get it done!