The Toronto Blue Jays 2018 season, at the outset, is looking more exciting than any of the previous three.
Inexplicably, but with logistical reasoning, FanGraphs is high on the Blue Jays in 2018. It may be the only entity to have such optimism. FanGraphs projects the team to have a record of 87-75, which would land Toronto as the second AL wildcard team, along with the Boston Red Sox and just ahead of the Los Angeles Angels.
The projections are questionable, and some may even deem them laughable. Even with the weaknesses of the team in 2017, general manager Ross Atkins and the rest of the Jays’ front office made what looked like little headway in the offseason, acquiring only second-rate players without fixing 2017’s biggest hole: the rotation.
But, as spring training runs on and the season approaches in just over three weeks, FanGraphs’ projections, along with the given uncertainties, has 2018 looking even more exciting than 2015, 2016 or 2017.
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The offseason acquisitions, headlined by Randal Grichuk, Aledmys Diaz, and Jaime Garcia, won’t make any headlines (except, perhaps, on this website). Still, the subtle additions patched the weaknesses of the Blue Jays in 2017, and still kept the strengths of the season intact.
In 2015, there was a sense of certainty as the season began: The Blue Jays would finish slightly above .500, as they had in 2014, but miss the playoffs behind the bigger powers in the AL East. The same sense of certainty existed in 2016, but with the opposite predictions. In 2017, as big names departed and regressed, the outlook for the season was grim; anything less, as compared to the massive success of the previous two seasons, would be a disappointment.
And it was. by all accounts, 2017 disappointed.
And so, as the 2018 season begins, a sense of uncertainty about the outcome of the season but optimism in the subtle additions and learned lessons makes it more exciting than any of the previous three seasons, even if it isn’t as successful.
But it would certainly help if it was.