Blue Jays: 10 stars the club missed out on that would've changed franchise history
By Edward Eng
This presented one of the most intriguing cases of notable players that fit into the “almost Blue Jay” category. Believe or not, Kris Bryant at one time was temporary associated with the Jays when they selected him in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. During that same draft, they also ended up drafting the infamous Lansing Trio of Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, and Justin Nicolino, as well as promising young star Dalton Pompey and first-round blunder Deck McGuire. Because of the strong draft the Jays had, the bulk of their signing money went to most, if not, all of those players, leaving no money left to sign Bryant. At the same time, Bryant, who was coming out of high school when he was drafted, was uncertain if he was planning to go to college instead to further his development.
Whatever the circumstances was, he went back into the draft in 2013 as a well-established and polished player after his time with the University of San Diego, and the Chicago Cubs promptly selected him second overall. Making his MLB debut with the Cubs in 2015, he would go on to win the NL Rookie of the Year, and the NL MVP in subsequent years, helping the Cubs become strong playoff contenders again, including capturing a World Series title that ended a 108-year franchise drought in 2016. The Jays did have Josh Donaldson already at the time manning third base, but who knows with Bryant added in the mix who could play outfield as well, together with Bautista and Encarnación, they would have been an offensive juggernaut, and may have enhanced the Jays’ chances of winning their first World Series in over two decades as well.