The Weekend Hangover - Episode 8

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Ryan of JaysDroppings.com and I join up again to talk all the latest happenings regarding the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though the Jays season is in limbo, there's still plenty to talk about and we make sure to touch on all of it. The main topics of conversation are:

  • Josh Donaldson being a total boss!
  • Being only 3 games back from the Wild Card. Is it possible?
  • Marco Estrada being claimed on revocable waivers.
  • Who we'd like back next season.
  • And more!

Don't forget to share this with all your fellow Blue Jays fans, as Ryan and I will be doing this (and have been doing this) on a weekly basis!

Thanks for listening!

SOT6 Podcast: Episode 18


Episode 18 of the South of the 6ix Podcast!

Talking all things Blue Jays in this one! 

* I am joined by Diamyn Hall (@DiamynHall) of Wright State University in Dayton, OH to discuss the mental aspect of the game. Specifically, we dive deep into the issues surrounding Roberto Osuna, Marcus Stroman, and the mental aspect may have influenced Troy Tulowitzki's offensive performance prior to his injury.


The Weekend Hangover - Episode 7

Ryan of JaysDroppings.com and I join up again to talk all the latest happenings regarding the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though the Jays season is in limbo, there's still plenty to talk about and we make sure to touch on all of it. The main topics of conversation are:

  • The trade deadline and the return the Jays received. How will they benefit the Jays for the future in their goal of becoming consistent contenders.
  • The recent comments regarding Marcus Stroman's attitude and approach on the mound. We support him and feel that his show of emotion will not only help the game become more watchable, but also bring on a youth movement showcasing the fun that baseball provides.
  • Forget McGregor vs. Mayweather! You want some DiManno vs. Di Francesco!
  • Lastly, we explain what it exactly means for Bautista to be placed on Revocable Waivers (hint: nothing) and we encourage those that are freaking out about it to, ya know, stop.

Don't forget to share this with all your fellow Blue Jays fans, as Ryan and I will be doing this (and have been doing this) on a weekly basis!

Thanks for listening!

 

SOT6 Podcast: Episode 17


Episode 17 of the South of the 6ix Podcast!

Talking all things Blue Jays in this one! 

  • First, I talk to Josh from SeatGiant.ca about what Seat Giant has to offer, including a special promo code that you can only get by listening here!
  • Next, I speak to Craig Borden (@Craigers1221) of JaysJournal.com to talk about the state of the Blue Jays playoff hopes, the state and evolution of Baseball, and trades that went down with the Blue Jays this past week, as well as the Minor League Talent that the Jays received in return.
  • Speaking of Minor League Talent, I then talk to the newest member of the Blue Jays organization - and fellow Rhode Islander - Tom Pannone, who was acquired by the Jays from the Indians in exchange for Joe Smith. Tom talks about his journey in professional baseball and his excitement to be in the Jays' system.
  • Lastly, I answer YOUR Twitter questions! Feel free to send me your questions at anytime @ACorsair21 or @SouthOfThe6ix and I'll be sure to answer them on the next episode!

Don't Overreact: Bautista Placed on Revocable Waivers

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)


As if the non-waiver Trade Deadline wasn't enough to get Blue Jays fans talking, this little nugget of news was released earlier this morning - 

I get that this will, inevitably and frustratingly so, light up a bunch of people's eyes and make them equivocate this to the Jays actively shopping Bautista, but this simply isn't the case. It's important to understand what the "revocable waivers" are and how they're handled in baseball.

For a more in depth look at how the revocable waivers work, I encourage you to visit Beyond the Box Score's write up. But, for sake of content, I'll offer a more casual description for the layman. Basically, it's not uncommon for every team to put practically every player on revocable waivers because there is literally nothing to lose by doing so. It is my (limited) understanding that teams place most - if not all - of their players on revocable waivers to gauge interest from other clubs as to what those players are worth to them. The thing about it, there's absolutely no commitment involved and, even if the player is claimed, that does not mean that he will be joining the team that claimed him. Quite literally, the team that placed him on such waivers can say, "uhhh yeah, no thanks!" pull him back, and that's that. Or, nothing materializes at all, the player clears waivers, and the Jays can gauge some trade interest. That's it.

In Bautista's case, it goes two-fold. For one, Ross Atkins has admitted that he fielded a plethora of offers for the right-fielder, but never asked Bautista to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Therefore, it's safe to assume that although conversations and negotiations didn't get far enough to the point where a deal was in place to move him, there's interest enough in Bautista that perhaps there's still a chance that a move could be made during the month of August. Perhaps a team that's teetering on the edge of making the playoffs wants this month to have some sort of final evaluation process to see if a player like Bautista could possibly push them towards playoff contention once he clears revocable waivers and engage in trade talks with the Jays. Or, perhaps things got way too hectic at the deadline that it simply wasn't the appropriate time to get a deal done and this gives a team a further opportunity for some dialogue. 

However, the second fold is that this isn't really anything to be concerned with and it's simply common place. The Blue Jays are wise to put practically every single player on revocable waivers because it doesn't make a difference whether they're on them or not. Consider that the Tigers have even placed Justin Verlander on revocable waivers yesterday. 

This doesn't mean that that both him and Bautista are available for a team to scoop up and the Tigers and the Jays, respectively, get nothing in return besides salary relief. It simply gives teams an opportunity to gauge interest after the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed. That's it. 

The beauty of placing a player on revocable waivers is that it gives the club that did so options. Say a team claims Bautista on revocable waivers. At that point, the Jays can either pull him back off waivers - the aforementioned "uhh yeah, no thanks!" scenario - and nothing changes. Or, if the Jays don't really like Bautista anymore (highly unlikely), the team that claims him can take him and his contract on and he's no longer a Blue Jay. Or, the likely scenario, Bautista goes completely unclaimed after 48 hours, at which point the Jays can have active talks with teams regarding a trade. If a trade materializes, he must then waive his 10-and-5 rights to join the team that wishes to acquire him which, depending on the team, is a toss-up.

The main take away here is that the Jays placing Bautista on revocable waivers isn't something to freak out over and does not mean Bautista is necessarily on the move. It's common. I'd be willing to bet that he's been placed on revocable waivers before and we literally had no idea. Am I saying that he won't be moved in the month of August? No, I'm not because there may be enough interest that stemmed from the non-waiver Trade Deadline for the Jays to have futher discussions with clubs that may need Bautista's services. It's certainly possible. But do I think that it's likely he'll be moved? I highly doubt it. Quite honestly, with the exception of maybe Estrada, I don't see the Jays making any further moves until the off-season. Call it a hunch.

Bottom line, don't freak out. This isn't anything to be concerned with. Carry on.


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


What We've Learned: The MLB Trade Deadline

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)


Aaaannnndddd that's it. 4:00pm EST has come and gone, leading to the end of the non-waiver trade deadline for all teams. When it comes to the Toronto Blue Jays, they were able to move two of the expiring contracts that they had for what appears to be pieces that will strengthen the farm system and solidify the hope of being competitive in years to come. It's hard to not be happy. 

Look, if you're disappointed with how the trade deadline turned out for the Jays in terms of the return that they got, or if you were expecting some sort of splash to push them towards the post season this year, I honestly don't know what to tell you. I suppose that the fans that fell in love with this team as a result of the 2015 & '16 seasons aren't used to the Jays not acquiring well-known talent for the sake of October baseball at the deadline. I get it. But the truth is, the writing was on the wall that the Jays probably wouldn't be making a post-season run. At this point (pretty much August), being dead last and 8 games out of the division, 7 games out of a Wild Card spot with 8 teams ahead of them, and with all the moves that division rivals such as the Yankees and Red Sox made to give themselves a more robust opportunity during the post-season, it wasn't in the Jays' best interest to try to match them. With all the talk of attempting to acquire pieces that will enable the Jays to both compete next season and become younger, you have to agree that the Jays didn't stray away or contradict this goal at all. In fact, they accomplished what could be the beginning stages of it.

Starting with the Liriano trade, it's hard to not look at it and be excited. Sure, the Jays had to kick in some cash in order to make the deal a bit more palpable for Houston, but I mean... it's not my money, so it doesn't bother me any. In return for a player that the Blue Jays traded Drew Hutchinson for that is also going to be a rental out of the bullpen for the Astros, the Jays gained Nori Aoki and Teaoscar Hernandez - a high ranking prospects in the Astros' farm system. Hernandez offers the Jays some insurance as he has been performing very well in AAA for the Fresno Grizzlies. As I mentioned in my brief write-up just as the trade was announced, Hernandez may be able to slide into the club quicker than we may anticipate (September call-ups, anyone?), becoming the heir to the throne that Bautista occupies in right-field. With how much Liriano's performance fluctuated every fifth day, it's hard to not be happy with the return that the Jays were able to get for him as an upcoming free agent; even if it meant having to take on Aoki (who we may not even hold on to). I really like this deal.

The Joe Smith trade, on the other hand, is what the majority of people aren't happy with and - for the life of me - I cannot understand why. I have no idea what people were expecting in return for someone like Smith - as solid as he may have been for us. But to expect something like an Andrew Miller return that the Yankees received last season is just asinine. Smith, for all the positives he provided out of the Blue Jays' bullpen, isn't worth top-tier Minor League talent that's ready to break into the big leagues, and I think that's what a lot of people tricked themselves into thinking he was worth. The constant response I've been hearing/reading as a result of this trade is that most people - apparently - would rather have held on to Smith instead of the two lower-tier prospects that the Jays received (LHP Tom Pannone - a guy from my neck of the woods - and SS Samad Taylor). To which I respond, to what end? Honestly, what benefit does holding on to Joe Smith do when the Jays are - pretty much - already out of the playoff race? As a free agent come the end of this season, the chances of Smith cashing in a relatively decent contract from a team not named the Blue Jays are pretty high. That being said, it's smart to try to get something - something - of value in return for a name that most people outside of Blue Jays fandom have to Google rather than seeing him (probably) walk away at the end of the year and get absolutely nothing. That's the thing with farm pieces; we don't know what they may become or how they'll be utilized. Perhaps they'll be used as some sort of currency for future deals that make the Jays better! Maybe they'll become lights-out players that completely blow us away! Who knows? I certainly don't, and I'm willing to bet that you don't either. But to say that this trade is an absolute failure is a prime example of fans overvaluing members of their favorite team at the trade deadline. 

Moreover, with the Jays grabbing two prospects from the Indians organization in exchange for Smith, chances are that Shapiro and Atkins had some knowledge as to what the players' respective ceilings may be and how they will be able to contribute in the future. It's unclear whether or not they knew something that the current regime in Cleveland didn't, making this a potential steal. What is clear, though, is that the Jays didn't counter what they claimed they would attempt to do. If any move was to be made, Atkins said, it would be for young controllable players that can strengthen the team's goal of being competitive in the future. I'd say this is a really good start towards that goal.

Let's not forget that there is still an opportunity to trade a player like Marco Estrada or even a J.A. Happ, although the latter is unlikely I'd say. Once teams really start to make a push in August for a playoff spot that need the extra boost in their rotation, Estrada can still be moved should he be placed on waivers. So don't assume that the attempts to acquire young controllable talent is over - it may not be. 

All in all, I think today's deadline was a definite win for the Jays and fans should be happy with how Atkins and Shapiro went about it. Being able to get a decent return in Hernandez for someone who is sporting a 5.88 ERA and will more than likely be used as a bullpen piece is a win, in and of itself. Although, don't try telling Aoki that - 

That's the breaks, kid!


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


BREAKING: Blue Jays Francisco Liriano Traded To The Astros

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)


The deal is apparently official. The Francisco Liriano era in Toronto has officially come to an end and will be finishing up the 2017 season in Houston. 

In return, the Jays will receive outfielder Nori Aoki and a Minor League player from Houston. Aoki has approximately $2 million left on his contract for the remainder of this year and also has one more year of arbitration left for the 2018 season. He will provide the Blue Jays will some additional outfield depth and was sort of the "you scratch my back" part of this trade.

This season hasn't been much to brag about when it comes to Aoki, but that was to be expected given the up-and-down performance by Liriano over the course of the season. This season, over the course of 71 games, Aoki has produced a line of .272/.323/.371 with an OPS of .694, a strikeout rate of 13% and a walk rate of about 7%. Which... yeah. Not the greatest, but I don't know if anyone was expecting anything phenomenal for Liriano in a deal in terms of Major League talent (I'll get to that in a minute). Considering he's arbitration eligible next season, he certainly seems like a non-tendered candidate, but time will tell.

The Minor League player coming into Toronto's possession is outfielder Teoscar Hernandez. This, as it seems, is why the Jays took on Aoki as Hernandez ranks No.9 in the Astros top prospects list, per MLB Pipeline and No.8 in their prospect list in Baseball America. In 79 games in AAA ball, Hernandez has produced a line of .279/.369/.485 with an OPS of .854. A great little piece that provides the Jays with even more depth and strength in their farm system. At just 24, Hernandez is still young enough that the Jays can maybe give him a little more time in the minors, or he may be able to knock on the door for the team in 2018 - perhaps as the Heir to the right-field throne that is being occupied by Bautista? We'll see. Either way, it's a great pick up.

Given that this is a result of trading Drew Hutchinson last year, it's hard not to be happy with this return. Let's not also forget, there's still about 2 hours of this madness left, so stay tuned!

Also, how's this for irony


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Live Trade Deadline Updates

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)


So here we go. Today is the MLB Trade Deadline with plenty of rumors surrounding the Jays selling off some of the expiring contracts, as well as being opened to dealing other players as well. Whether or not this actually comes into fruition is a whole different story.

Regardless, I'll be providing live updates regarding Blue Jays trades, rumored deals, and other trades that may effect the Blue Jays in their endeavors to compete in 2018. Check back, refresh, and remain on this page for the latest.


3:52pm: Fun Fact: Tom Pannone is from the city of Cranston in the state which I reside - Rhode Island. 


3:31pm: The two prospects coming back are Tom Pannone & Samad Taylor.


3:26pm: According to Nightengale, neither of two prospects are within Cleveland's top 30 ranked.


3:16pm: Tim Brown of Yahoo reports that two lower-level minor leaguers are coming to Toronto for Smith.


3:11pm: Rosenthal reports that Joe Smith is heading to Cleveland.


2:30pm: Toronto is listening on Happ and wants a significant return.


2:24pm: According the Nightengale, the Royals are pushing for one of the Jays' remaining starters.


1:55pm: Joe Smith is generating interest from the Indians. Cleveland aggressively shopping for relief help.


1:51pm: According to McTaggart, the Astros are sending Nori Aoki & a Minor League player to the Blue Jays in exchange for Liriano.


1:46pm: Conflicting reports as Joel Sherman is reporting that the deal is not yet complete, but clubs are in deep discussions.


1:43pm: According to Astros beat writer Bruan McTaggart, the deal is done.


1:36pm: Once the deal is done, Liriano will reportedly become a reliever for the Astros.


1:33pm: Deal is reportedly just waiting on a physical, according to Shi Davidi. Rumor is that an outfielder will be coming the Blue Jays' way.


1:25pm: Bob Nightengale is reporting the deal for Liriano to Houston is imminent. 


1:12pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Astros are pursuing Liriano. 


11:52am: According to BP Toronto, Cleveland and Boston have inquired about the availability of Bautista. Apparently unlikely to be moved, though. To boot - 


9:18am: Not really a huge update, but I thought this was rather interesting - 


8:09am: Contrary to earlier reports, according to Jon Heyman, the Jays are now opened to dealing J.A. Happ. It does not seem that they are actively shopping him, but it's something to keep on the radar come crunch time at the deadline.


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Trade Deadline NON-Candidate: Josh Donaldson

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)


With the trade deadline only a small handful of days away, a lot of Jays fans are debating which members of the team should be shopped in order to fulfill the goal of building the farm for the future and compete during the 2018 season. This, of course, is a very difficult task set out by GM Ross Atkins and President Mark Shapiro, as a lot of the assets that would allow the team to build a robust farm system are also those that may hinder their chances of competing for a post-season spot in 2018. Yet, this doesn't stop Jays fans from playing Fantasy Baseball in their heads by evaluating which players would enable the Jays to do both. Players like Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano, and Joe Smith are the obvious candidates, as all three of them are unrestricted free agents once the off-season hits. However, it's doubtful that any of these players would net a significant return, regardless of whether they are shopped individually or in a package. For the most part, Blue Jays fans have become mindful of this and, as a result, turn their attention to those that are on near expiring deals that could net a return that can help strengthen the franchise. One name that has been tossed out there, much to my dismay, has been Josh Donaldson. 

The case for trading Donaldson is not something that I would discourage people from thinking about. Just because I don't like the thought of the Jays trading Donaldson and don't think it's in their best interest to do so doesn't mean that there couldn't be a situation in which I would be alright with it. Theoretically, any and all of the players on the Blue Jays roster are tradable, depending on the return. I mean, would you turn your nose up to a Donaldson for Mike Trout trade, as extremely unlikely as it may be? Absolutely not. However, in real world situations, I can't think of a situation in which the Jays would be serving their self-proclaimed goal of competing in the 2018 season while at the same time trading away Donaldson. The return would have to consist of major-league ready or veteran talent, making the whole thing a bit redundant and also not in the interest of the team that is looking to acquire Donaldson. Teams that are trying to make that last big push for the playoffs are the teams that would have the most interest in a player like Donaldson. Such teams would consist of players that have helped get them in a position where a post-season opportunity is possible, but would (probably) be part of deal for Donaldson, thereby not making them really any better or worse. 

Yet, an argument can be made that if there was a team that was willing to trade away a handful of highly touted prospects that are knocking on the door for the majors that it could help the Jays remain competitive and become younger with players that have far more control than Donaldson. After all, Donaldson has one more year of arbitration left and will cost the Jays somewhere in the neighborhood of $18-$20 million (complete guess here) before hitting the open market in 2019. The case for moving a player like Donaldson would be to acquire assets that would be around the organization for much longer (assuming Donaldson signs elsewhere while a free agent) and won't cost the team nearly as much, enabling them to use the leftover payroll to fill other areas of need. 

The problem here is that little caveat that we can't help but go back to in that the Jays have outright stated that they intend to compete with the majority of players that they already have under contract during the 2018 season. Trading away players like Donaldson, Happ, Smoak, Stroman, or Sanchez completely abandons this intention and would be a very difficult sell for Rogers share holders, season ticket holders, and the team's diehard fans. Specifically, Donaldson has the opportunity to be the face of the franchise next year, as he may be far and away the most popular Blue Jay on the roster and one that fans recognize rather quickly. As I mentioned in my article I wrote earlier this week illustrating why a full rebuild isn't what's best, trading away Donaldson would forfeit a boatload of potential revenue and ticket sales that the club, as a business, cannot afford to sacrifice. People need a reason to come to the dome. Sure, the diehards can argue that they do it for the love and loyalty they devote to the Jays, but the more casual fans need a bigger incentive such as a player that they can be excited about. Josh Donaldson fills that incentive.

It may helpful to look towards those that are privy to betting odds when evaluating the likelihood of Donaldson being traded. Matt McEwan of Sports Betting Dime suggests that the likelihood that the Jays trade Donaldson come the July 31st deadline are 7/2, as he describes the situation between the Jays and Donaldson as "interesting." He further goes on to verbalize what is on the vast majority of minds of Jays fans when dealing with the "Do they? or Don't they?" question of trading Donaldson. To boot - 

JD has one year of arbitration left before becoming a free-agent. Do they deal him now while his value is still pretty high, or hold on for another run in 2018 — and then risk losing him for nothing?

This is the key question that makes the case for and against trading Donaldson so curious. But with the caveat of hoping to compete during the 2018 season already established and vocalized, I don't think it's likely that the Jays move Donaldson this year. Yet, there is a case to be made for the club to make such a move next season should they be in the same position as they are now. However, we aren't even at that point right now so we can table that discussion for another day.

We also have to admit that Donaldson is struggling a bit this season and the return that he deserves may not be offered to the Jays in any trade scenario that they've seen this season. Thus far in 252 plate appearances and 210 at bats, Donaldson has produced a line of .238/.365/.424, an OPS of .789, with 50 hits, 12 doubles, 9 home runs, 24 runs, 29 RBI's, with a strikeout percentage of about 25% and a walk rate of about 16%. It's been an uncharacteristic type of year for Donaldson, so the return in any trade right now wouldn't serve the interest of the club when it comes to competing next season. Thus, however likely or unlikely it is for them to do so, it doesn't make much baseball sense for them to do so right now. Sometimes it's best to hold on to the card you have.

Thus, as much as fans get discouraged when the team loses games that we otherwise think they ought to be winning, trading key contributors and generational talents such as Donaldson won't help the club with their current short-term goals. If the Jays want to have any shot of competing next year - and I believe that they do - trading Josh Donaldson would be something I'd imagine isn't even close to on their agenda.

He's not going anywhere... for now.


Follow South of the 6ix On Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Why You Really Don't Want A Complete Rebuild

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)


Much to our dismay, instead of discussing what pieces the Blue Jays need to solidify a post-season spot for the 2017 season, we are discussing what pieces the team should move in order to both A) strengthen the farm system and B) compete for the 2018 season. After being swept by Cleveland in a fashion that can only be described as devastating, morale was at an extreme low amongst the fanbase of the Jays, with many people chirping on Twitter for a complete tear down of the team. Such statements are easy to scroll pass and ignore, because I assume that this is just an impulsive sentiment as a result of a terrible weekend for the team. But the suggestion of tearing down the whole club and calling for the front office to trade almost every player on the team has become so frequent that I'm beginning to believe that people may actually think that they want this and it's in the best interest of the organization to do so. 

What such individuals fail to realize is that a complete rebuild in the game of baseball is such a long and tedious process that requires an enormous amount of both faith and patience. They, I think, liken the process to a rebuild for an NHL or NBA team. It's much much different. Moreover, the process is often times deflating and will test an individual's loyalty towards the team that they claim to stand behind. In short, it's not fun and if you can't bear to see this team lose as regularly as they have been, then there's hardly a chance that you'll be able to withstand a complete and utter tear down for the sake of a rebuilding of the organization. Not a chance. If you think 2017 is bad, you don't want to see the 2018, 2019, or maybe even 2020 Jays during a rebuild. Trust me on this. 

I get it, though. Most of the people that are calling for this may be new-comers on the Blue Jays bandwagon. There's nothing wrong with this as the more fans that represent the Jays will lend more of a reason for ownership to fund the team as much as they have. This is especially important and something that should be kept in mind. The Jays have become so intertwined with the city to the point where it's eclipsed just a mere representation of an individual's love for the team. The logo alone has become a part of Toronto and the organization would be foolish to halt the momentum that began - in a way - in 2013 and really catapulted in 2015. Thus, I'd like to focus on why a complete rebuild wouldn't make much business sense before getting into why you - as a fan - wouldn't want one, either.

It's important to understand that even though to baseball fans such as ourselves they are extremely valuable and sentimental, the Blue Jays are a small piece of a very large business pie for Rogers. As sad of a realization as this may be, ownership, of course, wants this piece to be as lucrative and successful as possible. They have seen what kind of revenue can be generated if the team remains relevant, despite it being unrelated to the other business ventures that they pursue. The aforementioned boom in popularity that the Jays have generated isn't blind to Rogers and they certainly want to maintain it. Why wouldn't they? It makes no sense for them to own anything and generate little to nothing, or even just break even, regardless of how small the piece of the pie it is. With attendance, television ratings, merchandise sales, and chatter surrounding the direction of the team (yes, even if it's negative. It's better than silence), undergoing a complete tear down would more or less eradicate all of this, leaving Rogers in a position of forfeiting the enormous potential and - let's face it - cash cow that the Blue Jays have shown to be. It makes more sense for them to keep the wheel spinning and either legitimately go all-in or at least do just enough to contend year-in and year-out. 

The aspect of doing just enough to contend is interesting because it offers the Jays the best of both worlds: It'll keep interest amongst the fanbase which will lead to the team to continue generating revenue, keeping ownership happy.  Don't get me wrong, I think that they will always try to put together a competitive team, but there's a fine line of making a legitimate push for the post-season and putting together a team that you can see going either way. I think that the powers-that-be will lean more towards the latter for a few reasons. For starters, the Jays don't have a good track record of being able to sign the high-priced big name free agents that are still well within their prime years. Other than maybe Russell Martin, I can't think of a big name free agent in recent history that they were able to sign to a lucrative deal. Second, if they were to make a legitimate all-in push to acquire superstars from other teams via trade, it would involve the front office to forfeit a lot of the prospects that we are looking forward to in the coming years. Players like Rowdy Tellez, Bo Bichette, Vlad Jr., Sean Reid-Foley, Conner Greene, Anthony Alford, and Lourdes Gurriel would more than likely be shopped, which is something that Atkins and Shapiro are highly unlikely to do (I hope). Thus, putting together a team that is somewhere in the middle that we can evaluate and conclude have a legitimate shot of making the post-season makes the most sense for all parties involved. It keeps the Jays relevant in a baseball sense, it keeps fans interested which will lead to the continuation of cash flowing in. Everyone's happy.

But it's not just about ownership and what makes business sense. As I mentioned and as the title suggests, you - the fan -  really don't want a complete rebuild, despite how much you call for it. Again, I'll give the benefit of the doubt to those that claim that this is what they want and assume that they don't understand what a rebuild actually means. It may be difficult to understand because the last two years have been such anomalies for this franchise that new comers may not know what life was like before 2015 as a Jays fan. In short, it wasn't pretty. The beginning stages of the Alex Anthopoulos era began with what could be described as a complete rebuild, as the only bright spot (at the time) for the Blue Jays - Roy Halladay - was traded away, kick-starting the call to build the farm for the future. At that point, there wasn't really much to look forward to over the next few season as we knew that the Jays more than likely wouldn't compete for a post-season spot. All that was left to draw you to watch the games was the loyalty towards the Jays and/or the love of the game itself. Call me crazy, but I consider it a lot more fun to watch a team that we can reasonably conclude has a legitimate shot at making the post-season than one that we assume, and can reasonably conclude, won't (I mean, sometimes you just know). The former is exactly what the front office is working on for the 2018 season.

Don't get me wrong, I realize that there are times when it's appropriate for a team to undergo a complete and utter rebuild, but right now just isn't one of those times. With players such as Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, Steve Pearce, Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak, JA Happ, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and Roberto Osuna still being contributors for the 2018 season (as of this writing), there's a whole lot to look forward to and offers fans some incentive to visit the ball park. When you call for Atkins and Shapiro to trade away players like this in order to "build the farm," you ignore the fact that there has to be bodies on the field for the Jays in the mean time. Moreover, you may be overvaluing what you would get in return when trading away ::insert player here:::. The truth is, if the recent trades by other clubs have shown anything, it's that it's currently a buyers-market and it may be in the best interest of the Blue Jays to either get a maximum return when trading away players or wait until the off-season to make any serious moves. If a trade proposal is one that would be stupid to turn down, then by all means. But given where the market, there's no reason to believe that something like that would be presented to Atkins and/or Shapiro. 

So when you start to think "REBUILD! SELL OFF THE ENTIRE TEAM!" anytime the Jays lose, just know what that will mean not just for the rest of this season but for seasons to come. A rebuild isn't just a quick hiccup in the world of baseball, it's a process that a lot of people just won't have the patience for. It doesn't make sense for you and it doesn't make sense for the suits that make the decisions. Believe me when I tell you, you don't want this.

At least, not now.


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