Blue Jays: Don’t call it quits on Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins
By Joshua Giles
With many Blue Jays fans seemingly calling for the firing of Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro, I’d like to encourage those people to take a minute to breathe, and I will tell you why they are still doing what is in the best interest of the Blue Jays organization.
For many Jays fans, when management traded away Josh Donaldson, that was the last straw. After having a disappointing season last year, and an even bigger mess this year, fans have seemingly given up on the front office. But I believe that they are still doing what’s best for the franchise. Here’s why:
Coming into the 2018 season Atkins went on the record in saying that they were still planning on competing this year. And to their credit, they tried. Bringing in the likes of Yangervis Solarte, John Axford, Tyler Clippard, and a few more players. They addressed the immediate needs of the team without actually having to give up much or any of their future.
Unfortunately, in Toronto, it can be an undesirable location for many free agents. That in itself is a battle of its own. So just being able to put together a good team that can compete, the Jays would have to either trade for players or build up a good farm system and prepare for a bright young future. The fact that they were able to bring in some solid free agents for a pretty good price isn’t too shabby.
But now we’re here. After trading J.A. Happ, Roberto Osuna, Josh Donaldson, and many more players, management has decided to bank it on the future. The way we and many other fans look at it, it’s a lost season so take what you can to bolster your future. This should help their team to be able to compete for years to come.
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Now I know what you’re thinking, “Shapiro and Atkins didn’t sign Vlad Jr. that was Anthopoulos” Although this is true, they built the farm system and the teams future around him. Such as the #9 overall prospect in the MLB Bo Bichette, who was drafted in 2016. They also drafted and signed players such as Kevin Smith, Eric Pardinho, Jordan Groshans, and Cavan Biggio just to name a few. They are doing what is in the best interest to help the future of the organization.
Ross Atkins was in the Indians system before he came over to Toronto. He was the Director of Player Development (a very useful thing to have right now) as well as being promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel.
Mark Shapiro isn’t any schmuck either. He’s been around the baseball world long enough and is a two-time Sporting News executive of the year award winner. He built Cleveland Indian Baseball so that it would be relevant again, and if he stayed in Cleveland instead of coming over to Toronto, who knows, they might’ve won a World Series Title.
These are impressive and experienced resumes that should show you that these people know what they’re doing. To think that they should be fired because of trading Donaldson would be a ridiculous thought. If they say that he doesn’t fit with the future of the franchise then I would be inclined to believe them and still think that they are doing what is in the best interest of this franchise.
They can’t look into a crystal ball and see what the absolute most perfect decisions are, but they can do their best with all the information they have. Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro are doing just that.