Ross Atkins and the Blue Jays’ front office have done a great job rebuilding the roster, but not every move they’ve made has worked out.
I will be the first to admit that since coming to Toronto in 2015, GM Ross Atkins has been as good as any baseball executive at player development and creating payroll flexibility for a team that was swimming in bad contracts. However, Atkins has been less than desirable when it comes to his handlings of trading the star players from the 2016-2018 Blue Jays. It almost feels like every single good player on the Blue Jays was moved at a point when their value as a trade chip was the lowest.
Again, I admire Ross Atkins’ ability to pick right on prospects such as Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette. But with that being said, if Atkins had not been so ‘in between’ on the rebuild phase and had a fire sale when it was obvious this team was not going to compete (circa 2017), then the Jays would have an even deeper farm in what is already considered among the best in baseball.
This offseason has been moving slowly, so now is as good of a time as any to take a look back on Atkins reign as GM. Before I make this list, I want to still note that Atkins has hit lightning in a bottle for a few trades like Teoscar Hernandez for a declining Francisco Liriano. I don’t want to discount his trades altogether, but for the most part he was not great when it came to the trading of star players during the rebuild.
Let’s take a look back at some of these trades where it was evident that Atkins missed the optimal time to trade.