Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: It’s Complicated – A Look at the Current Predicament

hgodfrey
TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 2: Mark Shapiro speaks to the media as he is introduced as president of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on November 2, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 2: Mark Shapiro speaks to the media as he is introduced as president of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on November 2, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Even though it may be repeated over and over again in the hushed circle of the Blue Jays faithful, it’s worth bringing up that this team is in a tough spot. An aging, yet effective core, and a set of up-and-coming youngsters put this team in perennial purgatory – so what will they do?

Make no mistake, this a disappointing period of Blue Jays baseball. Since the start of this season, fans of the Jays have been entertained by an energetic dancing Venezuelan, enticed by the son of a former major leaguer, and crushed by an underwhelming starting rotation. If you can’t make it to Canada’s Wonderland this summer, watching the boys in blue might be the next best thing, because as my terribly cringe-worthy pun suggests – taking in Blue Jays baseball is similar to riding a rollercoaster.

As the team continues to sputter, uncertainty continues to loom. We know the landscape of this league – it’s a tanking league. Teams are selling off assets like it’s going out of style and are practically competing to be the worst team for the sake of high draft position. If you’re not one of the cellar dwellers who is banking on a bright future, odds are you’re an athletic juggernaut with superstars galore and an engaged fan base that’s hungry for a title.

The Toronto Blue Jays are neither. They’re not an awful club with no hope for exciting ballgames and years of pain ahead of them, but they’re also not a legitimate contender. This team and it’s front office knows that it’s going to take some baseball magic to catapult them into a playoff spot, but at the same time, it’s very difficult to justify selling off valuable assets given just how talented this roster appears to be on paper.

In some ways, this is actually a positive thing. The team can remain somewhat relevant in their in-between periods, fielding veteran fan favourites as they await their trio of Fisher Cat infielders in their pursuit of Canadian passports. They’ll draw decent crowds, and maintain a .500 record in a rather bleak era.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

On the other hand, being a middling franchise is the worst thing you can be in this league. We’ve seen it so many times. The teams that end the season at .500 are usually the ones with the least direction and the least vision for their future. It’s difficult to compete when you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket. In a sense, it doesn’t matter into which basket you put your eggs, just that your eggs remain together. At some point, you have to go all in.

That’s where this team comes in. Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro have a herculean task ahead of them. Do they trade current major league staples like Josh Donaldson and Kevin Pillar? Do they only shed off one-year veterans like Curtis Granderson and Seunghwan Oh? Or do they blow it all up and trade not only Donaldson and Pillar, but other young controllable names like Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez? Here’s the thing, we really don’t know. I don’t even think Mark Shapiro knows.

That’s not exactly a bad thing. This is a complicated game, both on and off the field. I don’t want to excuse any less-than-stellar moves this front office could possibly make in the next month or so, but I also don’t want to come down too hard on a front office that has, in my mind, handled this intricately paradoxical team in an excellent manner thus far.

What it comes down to is this – this is not an easy situation. It’s layered with indecision and has multiple factors that we don’t even know about that need to be taken into account. Most of all, it’s in the hands of professionals, a few men who were responsible for building up the Cleveland Indians to their current glory.

While it might be an unpopular opinion, I for one support this front office as they navigate their way through this puzzling frenzy that is the 2018 Toronto Blue Jays. It’s a tough spot to be in, and I think we’ll have our answer soon as to where they plan to take this team.

Next: Blue Jays: Osuna’s leave extended until trial date

facebooktwitterreddit