Blue Jays: Even without a ring, it’s been a good decade

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 14: Jose Bautista
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 14: Jose Bautista /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 28: Bo Bichette #11 and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays sit in the dugout during the ninth inning of their MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 28: Bo Bichette #11 and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays sit in the dugout during the ninth inning of their MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Next generation

Out with the old, in with the new, right? At least that’s what it’s felt like with the Blue Jays over the last couple of seasons as they’ve gone through a pretty significant rebuild.

The great news is that the franchise has a very talented young core to build from, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Nate Pearson, and many more. It might be another season or two before this young group is truly ready to contend, but it’s easy to see that the talent is there, and hard not to dream about the future.

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With a young core comes a lot of financial flexibility, and although that became a bit of a swear word among the Blue Jays’ fan base for a while, I think it’s a safe thing to say again. That’s because Ross Atkins and company handed 80 million over four years to Hyun-Jin Ryu, and 24 million over two years to Tanner Roark to improve their starting rotation. They also traded for Chase Anderson, tendered Matt Shoemaker a contract, and signed Shun Yamaguchi and Travis Shaw.

I don’t know that the fan base should expect the Blue Jays to truly become a contender in 2020, but it’s no longer a laughable notion. That’s what happens when you spend to improve the roster, and it’s been clear among the fan base on social media that it’s made a difference in the optimism around this team. Whether or not that will translate to the box office remains to seen, but it can’t hurt.

As we start a new decade of Blue Jays baseball, I can’t help but feel like this group has a chance to finish what the last one started. After more than 20 years of being on the outside of the playoff picture, the Blue Jays returned to relevancy, and look poised to do the same in the next year or two as well. Throw in the accomplishments of guys like Bautista, Encarnacion, and Donaldson, the exciting moves from Alex Anthopoulos, and so much more, and there’s a reason baseball became relevant in Canada again.

Next. Travis Shaw had as many as 14 free agent suitors. dark

It’s fun to watch a winner, and hopefully they can give us a whole bunch more to celebrate over the next ten years. So long 2010’s, and thanks for the memories.

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