Blue Jays: Top factors for a division title in 2023
About four years since the onset of the latest rebuild, it’s safe to say the Blue Jays have made the transition to a perennial postseason contender. This reputation is a result of their immense talent and depth, as just about every player on their roster is capable of contributing to a win night after night. With this truly being the case, why can’t we consider them division favorites?
The AL East is a horror show year after year. The Yankees and Red Sox can never be counted out, no one can comprehend the Rays, but they’re booked for at least 90 wins every season, and now the Orioles rebuild is coming to an end. So, simply put, the division in which the Blue Jays have the pleasure of contending in is the main culprit of their doubters through the years.
This is no different in 2023, with the main competition being the Yankees and Rays. Tampa Bay is bringing back a roster very similar to last year, though hoping for a full season of the Wander Franco show. The case is similar with the Yankees, as the offensive core that their fan base loathed for the entirety of last season, outside of Aaron Judge, is set to return. They brought in Carlos Rodón to fortify their rotation, making it one of the best in the league.
Steep competition, sure. But who’s to say the division is out of reach for the Jays?
At this point in their window of competition, with a roster this complete, the Blue Jays simply cannot do anything other than shoot for a division title, something that hasn't been achieved since 2015. This is no doubt the goal for the team themselves, and it should be the expectation for their fans. Sure, it’s hard to be angry with a top seeded Wild Card at the end of the season, but there are an abundance of reasons not to set our sights this low for 2023.
Between projections, rebounds, and health, there are plenty of factors that go to show the Jays can surpass their win total from last year and claim the division as their own.