Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: The different stages of investing in the roster

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 02: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on as he addresses the media after completing a trade earlier in the day that sent Kevin Pillar #11 to the San Francisco Giants during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on April 2, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 02: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on as he addresses the media after completing a trade earlier in the day that sent Kevin Pillar #11 to the San Francisco Giants during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on April 2, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ONTARIO – OCTOBER 3: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate his home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on October 3, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

Over the past few seasons we’ve witnessed various stages of investing in the roster for the Blue Jays, and the capping things off likely isn’t far away.

After the 2015 and 2016 playoff appearances by the last core group in Toronto, Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins got to work on tearing things down and rebuilding from the ground up. They had the benefit of a foundational piece in a teenage phenom named Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who they could dream about building around, but things weren’t going to change overnight.

Having said that, it was pretty remarkable how quickly the Blue Jays went from a cellar dweller to a legitimate playoff contender. In 2017, the first real year of their rebuild, they finished 76-86, and followed that up by regressing even more at 73-89 in 2018, and 67-95 in 2019.

From there, things quickly got pretty exciting again during the shortened season in 2020 when they qualified for the expanded playoffs. There were big expectations last year as well, and the Charlie Montoyo led group mostly delivered by winning 91 games, but unfortunately it was one win short in the ultra-competitive American League, and specifically in the AL East.

Before the Blue Jays can move forward and take the next step toward returning to the World Series for the first time since the 90’s, let’s review the major steps that Atkins and the front office took in ultimately building the current roster, which projects to be one of the more dangerous teams in baseball once a new CBA gets hammered out and things can resume.

Here’s hoping that happens sooner than later, but for now let’s take a look back at the major investments that the Blue Jays have made, and what they’ve meant for the franchise.

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