Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Will They Ever Be Good: Toronto Blue Jays

The other night I got to thinking, is there any way that teams like the Royals, Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates can ever be good again? Not one fluke season good, but sustained success good. These teams have all had their heyday in which they were powerhouses for a short time, but their present and futures look so bleak can you ever see them digging out again? I wanted to take a look at the prolonged future of these clubs, say 20-30 years from now, can these clubs become viable consistent championship contenders again?

Some of you may be saying, how are the Blue Jays on this list? They are not your classic inept team, they are willing to spend some money, and they have been good in the more recent past (sustaining back to back World Championships in the 90's is no small feat). There are 2 huge issues that the Blue Jays have to deal with, Yankees and Red Sox.

I actually contemplated putting the Rays on this list too, because I just do not see the Rays being able to support a viable championship contending roster for 5-10 years. It is far too difficult in the AL East. Look at how the Rays built their success. Years of toiling in MLB's dumpster scavenging #1 overall picks. Now that the Rays no longer get those #1 picks and their talent is getting shipped to the powerhouse teams (see: Carl Crawford in 5 months) how will they compete?

The same argument can be put forth on the Blue Jays, except it will be worse for them. Their club has shown willingness to pay players, and the front office is not completely inept. How could that possibly be a bad thing? If they can't compete with the Yankees and Red Sox in paying superstars, and they don't suck enough to land 3 Steven Strasburg's (see: Washington National's get good formula) then how will they ever be anything but a middling franchise? Could they make a run for 1 year here or there? Of course, but I do not see it possible to sustain such prolonged success.

Unless...

Giants in the game are not only found in the #1 or #2 picks in the draft. Hell, most of the time they are found from the Dominican. If they Blue Jays could land a bonafide Super Duper Star like an Albert Pujols (that happens to love playing in Canada) they could be on to something. Their organization has shown throughout several regimes that they are not complete Jim Hendry's out there. They have made several quality moves, and a few absolute bonehead moves (Vernon Wells' contract).

I honestly just wish that this Super Duper Star would show up in the next 1-3 years instead of 15 years from now. I think the Blue Jays have the absolute perfect supporting cast to start a giant run, they just need one Alex Rodriguez to show up. Is Brett Wallace really the Alex Rodriguez type that will lead this team to 10 years of sustained winning? No. Frankly, while the Roy Halladay deal got them a lot in return, they needed more. They needed that once in a lifetime prospect. Maybe that prospect wasn't around, and definitely wasn't offered, but they needed a Hall of Famer in that deal, especially since they gave up a HOF er in the process.

I do think the Blue jays current roster is fascinating, and that is why I really wish that they had a Mega Star. The Fred Lewis trade was one of the smartest moves made in a long time. What was San Fran thinking? Lewis was the second best player on their team. Why trade him/why did they never play him?

Clearly the power surge out of players like Alex Gonzalez was unexpected, but the Blue Jays do have some good youth on the team, that should be putting it together real soon. Their staff is also filled with young arms and if Shaun Marcum could take another step to get on the elite level they could really be something.

As they are presently constructed they are a .500 team. I think they will make that elite plateau sometime in the near future, but they will be waiting on a star.

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