Blue Jays: Recapping the big storylines from 2018
Speaking of roster changes
Josh Donaldson and Roberto Osuna weren’t the only Blue Jays traded in 2018, as there was quite a fire sale in Toronto during the summer.
Atkins traded Steve Pearce to the Red Sox, J.A. Happ to the Yankees, Curtis Granderson to the Brewers, Aaron Loup to the Phillies, Seunghwan Oh to the Rockies, and John Axford to the Dodgers. There were several other discussions as well, but the roster got a lot younger in a hurry with all of those moves.
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The trend has continued so far this offseason, as Aledmys Diaz was traded to the Astros for Trent Thornton, Yangervis Solarte was non-tendered and released, and Troy Tulowitzki and his 38 million were sent packing as well. Going another step further, there have been rumours surrounding the remaining veterans such as Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar, and Russell Martin. The front office has expressed their desire to rebuild, and it doesn’t look like they’re kidding at all.
I sincerely hope that they don’t trade Stroman or Sanchez, at least not until they regain some or all of their top-shelf value they had a year or two ago, and I’m not sure they’ll get much of a return for any of Pillar, Martin, or Smoak, for various reasons. It’s a great idea to clear the way for the young players to get experience and playing time, but there’s value in having a few veteran voices in the lineup from time to time as well. It remains to be seen how things will play out, but don’t be surprised if the Blue Jays make another trade or two before Opening Day.
Whatever happens going forward, 2018 will be remembered as a year of transition for the franchise, and the year that they went from one generation to another. Hopefully this coming group of players works out to be as talented as they appear, and the supporting cast around a guy like Vlad Jr can excel at the highest level. That’s the consolation for saying farewell to this “Gibby” era.