There is always something to learn from another successful team, so what should the Blue Jays glean from the Yankees, Astros, Cardinals and Nationals?
Any time I’m watching the MLB postseason, one of the things that interests me the most is figuring what sets the best teams apart from the rest of the league. Sometimes it’s obvious with a team like the Houston Astros that employs a super-rotation, but other times we’re left scratching our heads with a team built to win like the Dodgers, who are already sitting at home.
When I look at the final four teams (well, three now that the Cardinals have been disposed of in a four-game sweep by the Nationals), I think there are lessons that the Blue Jays’ front office can take away from each team. Some of them can be applied without much problem, while others are easier said than done, but there are a few different paths to winning on display this year.
With a developing young core with tremendous potential in Toronto, Ross Atkins and company will have a lot of different ways they can build this team over the next few years. Payroll shouldn’t be an issue, but that doesn’t mean they can just throw money around irresponsibly, especially if they want to be able to retain their young stars down the line and build a consistent winner. Even with as much payroll flexibility as they have now, building the right way is still going to be important.
There will come a time in the not so distant future that they’re going to need to supplement their big league roster, and that’s where the lessons from this year’s playoffs could come in handy. Whether it’s a powerful rotation, lineup, bullpen, or a balance of most of it, hopefully Atkins and company are paying attention. Baseball is definitely a game of following trends, especially in recent years, and there are some solid lessons on display at the moment.
What can we learn from each team?