The Blue Jays are currently in the best position a franchise can be in

Toronto Blue Jays Workout
Toronto Blue Jays Workout / Elsa/GettyImages

Winning the World Series is, or at least should be, the ultimate goal of every single MLB franchise. Unfortunately, only one team has a happy ending to the season, and the other 29 need to go home disappointed. The reality of professional sports is that, no matter how good your team is, you're probably not going to win it all. This isn't meant to negate the fact that that's always the ultimate goal, but in the case of the Blue Jays, while this team has yet to reach the top of the mountain, they're still in the best situation any franchise can be in. Here's why.

Young talent

This is the most obvious way that the Blue Jays are sitting pretty. Very few teams have as many young starters as the Jays do, especially considering how good these young players are. Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, Alejandro Kirk, and Alek Manoah are all proven stars and are 25 or younger, while George Springer, Kevin Kiermaier, and Brandon Belt are the only position players over 30 who'll be seeing serious playing time. While having good, young players means they're less likely to regress or get injured, it also makes them more controllable, meaning this core should be around for the foreseeable future. This is a testament to the Blue Jays' ability to not only acquire prospects but to be able to develop them, something that isn't always a given. This leads to what might be one of the most underrated aspects of the organization, their asset management.

Asset management

In December 2012, the Blue Jays traded for reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, with the primary return being top prospects Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud heading to the Mets. This has become a sort of cautionary tale of trading prospects for established MLB players, but the reality is that that was just a bad trade, and in recent years, the Blue Jays have done a great job of acquiring meaningful starters by trading prospects. Over the past two years, the Blue Jays have traded for José Berríos, Matt Chapman, Anthony Bass, and Daulton Varsho using mostly prospects; including Gabriel Moreno (who was technically not a prospect but may as well have been), Austin Martin, and Gunnar Hogland, among other players. This isn't to say that they won't be good players, Moreno, in particular, has the potential to be one of the best catchers in baseball, but the odds that all those prospects will turn into stars, let alone start in the Majors, are slim to none, and the Blue Jays have done a great job understanding the asset economy of MLB by using these players who could help them years from now to get players who can help them immediately.

Their front office

Evaluating a front office can be a really difficult thing in MLB since there are so many different factors that play into the success of a team over 162 games, that oftentimes the moves made by management may appear better or worse than they actually are. What isn't hard though is telling when a team has a bad front office, and that's certainly not the case in Toronto. The trades that acquired players like Teoscar Hernández, Robbie Ray, Adam Cimber, and Ross Stripling are all examples of moves that have required relatively little in terms of compensation, but all got the team players who ranged from impact players to Cy Young and Silver Slugger winners. There are some smaller moves too that have given the team some solid pieces. In 2018, the Blue Jays dealt Steve Pierce to the Red Sox at the deadline in exchange for Santiago Espinal. In 2017, the Blue Jays acquired Samad Taylor from the Guardians in exchange for reliever Joe Smith, and in 2022 they were able to use Taylor and Max Castillo to acquire Whit Merrifield. Combine this with the fact that the Marcus Stroman trade is the only time they've really given up a strong starter for little in return, even though they were able to use a piece from that to acquire Berríos two seasons later, and it's hard to poke holes in the roster building of the teams. They've also brought in some key players in free agency, with George Springer and Kevin Gausman being great additions to the roster, Chris Bassitt potentially being the final piece of a top-tier rotation, as well as Kiermaier and Belt being solid vets to help with the backend of the lineup. There's obviously the case of players like Hyun Jin Ryu and Yusei Kikuchi, both of whom haven't had the tenure the team was hoping for so far, but when it comes down to it, the failed contracts don't matter all that much thanks to the next reason the Blue Jays are in such a good spot.

Ownership that is willing to spend

Entering 2023, the Blue Jays have the sixth-highest total payroll in MLB, behind only the Mets, Yankees, Padres, Phillies, and Dodgers. This is even considering that some of their top young players have yet to get big extensions yet, meaning this team has been willing to not only invest in young talent but to do what it takes to get the necessary pieces around them. In other leagues that have a true salary cap, throwing around money can be the downfall of organizations, but in MLB, you can essentially spend whatever you want to make your team as good as possible, and the Jays have been doing just that. Starting with signing Ryu during the 2020 offseason, the organization has shown a willingness to spend money on big-name players and has made Toronto a far more appealing place to come than it has ever been. The Berríos extension last offseason seems like an encouraging sign that they'll shell out the money for their own players, but with Guerrero and Bichette rapidly approaching the open market, we'll see how much ownership is really willing to pay. For now, the Blue Jays seem to have one of the owners most willing to spend in baseball.

They're winning games

What's most important and what puts the Blue Jays in such a good position right now is that, despite not reaching the top of the mountain just yet, they've been winning games. Over the last three seasons, the team has a 215-169 record, which is seventh best in MLB, and they're one of only three teams to have more than 90 wins in each of the last two seasons. Again, they obviously haven't reached their ultimate goal, but this team has already started building toward it and have shown that they have what it takes to win games. Now it's just a matter of continuing this success into October.

In a perfect world, the Blue Jays would already have won multiple World Series by now, but as mentioned earlier, only one team can do that in any given season. Right now, the Jays have the roster, management, and ownership in place to put them in as good of a position to win as possible, and are in as good of a place as any team in baseball.

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