Blue Jays: Some things are better left unsaid


As Blue Jays fans continue to wait for roster upgrades to come this offseason, the front office has made a few questionable statements lately.

Well, we’re a week away from Christmas and Blue Jays’ fans are still waiting to see if they’ll get a big present under the tree this year. With the winter meetings ending last week, it’s entirely possible that things stay quiet until after the holidays have concluded, but in the same breath don’t be shocked if something happens on Christmas eve. The Blue Jays have plenty of moves to make to shore up their roster before next season, and in the age of technology these deals can happen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

As we wait to see what Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro have up their sleeve, it’s required some patience to be sure, especially as we’ve watched AL East giants like the Yankees make massive upgrades, and other division rivals like the Rays and Orioles prepre to sell. Most fans are pleased to hear that the Blue Jays don’t plan on selling roster assets, but waiting around for something to happen has been almost as frustrating as the trade rumours swirling around guys like Josh Donaldson.

While it’s been admirable to see the front office exercise more patience than last offseason when they arguably signed Kendrys Morales and others a bit prematurely, there have been other areas that I would argue haven’t been handled in the best of ways. I think what bothered me the most was Atkins saying that they would have seriously considered a tear down after the 2016 season if not for the outstanding fan support.

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I can understand the rationale behind the thinking, but I don’t understand the need to publicly state something like this. Sure, the Blue Jays looked like they were going to miss the playoffs in 2016, even late into the season, but they managed to get hot down the stretch and qualify, losing out in the ALCS for a second straight year. Even with an aging and somewhat flawed roster, the team was successful and the fan base rewarded them in spades, even leading the American League in attendance last year despite spending all but one day in the basement of the division.

It makes sense that Atkins and Shapiro had the foresight to see a downturn coming, but I’m not sure that talking about it is the best idea, especially with the other narratives being thrown around. You’ll have to forgive a confused fan base if they hear “we wanted to tear things down a year ago”, in the same conversation as “we want to be competitive”, and “we want to keep Josh Donaldson around”.

Which is it? Sure, it could be both as they’ve said, but as the offseason presses closer to 2018 it gets harder to buy into their attitude as serious contenders. Throw in the constant trade rumours around guys like Donaldson and even Marcus Stroman (the Phillies are reportedly asking), and Atkins’ willingness to admit that they don’t believe in untouchables almost brings forth a feeing of dread. Add the reports of Rogers considering a sale of the team, and it gets harder to imagine the front office spending the money it would take to bring the team back into the playoff conversation.

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As much as I admire transparency from an organization, I honestly believe that some things are better left unsaid. At an important transitional time for the franchise, keeping hope and positive thinking at the forefront is very important, and it’s been a rough go of things in that department throughout the offseason. I’m hopeful that going forward the front office will let their actions do the talking, regardless of what route they take.