In his most recent mail bag for the Toronto Star– in a passage I came about via MLBTR, not because I was reading any of his answers– Richard Griffin wrote about Alex Anthopoulos and 2013, explaining that the judgement of this season “being a total failure can only be made if he starts a firesale at the deadline and continues in the off-season to quickly turn some of his off-season acquisitions into prospects. He would invariably receive less in return than what he surrendered to get them and that would turn this into a massive failure.”
That, to me, seems pretty screamingly fucking obvious– especially when you add in the fact that the 2014 Jays already have Bautista, Encarnacion, Reyes, Cabrera, Lawrie, Lind, Rasmus, Arencibia, Bonifacio, Izturis, Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow, Happ, Janssen, and everyone in the bullpen, save Darren Oliver, under contract. And, y’know, because other potential 2014 contributors in the system include Anthony Gose, Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek, Ricky Romero, Sean Nolin, A.J. Jimenez, and perhaps eventually even Aaron Sanchez.
They don’t have a tonne of payroll flexibility, but they have a very strong core of players– currently playing at a 89-game pace for over a month, since May 5th, despite hardly having Morrow, Happ, and Johnson, over that stretch, with Reyes having been out for the entirety of it, and R.A. Dickey only having started to turn it around in his last two starts– and plenty of moving parts that will allow Anthopoulos to tinker.
Pretty simple, right?
Alex Anthopoulos stuck his neck out and dealt for National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets, and Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and Emilio Bonifacio from the Marlins. What did Anthopoulos do wrong? Nothing, really. He gave up top young talent for All-Stars.
Didn’t work, but I give him credit for going for it. You accumulate draft picks and good minor league talent to keep or to trade it for established players.
If you’re the Blue Jays and all you’ve been associated with is fourth place and you’re losing your fan base, what else can you do but go for it?
What’s happening in Toronto is a nightmare. People in the organization have no idea if Anthopoulos is going to cut bait or stay the course.
I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that maybe he’s referring to cutting bait in terms of only 2013, but this is the guy who has already been on about the “possibility” of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion getting dealt, so…
And holy fuck, “didn’t work,” he says as fucking flippantly as humanly possible. Except… no. It didn’t not work. They played like shit for eighteen games. They were an OK 6-7 after winning on April 15th, they’ve gone 17-14 since May 5th, and in between was a dreadful 4-14 stretch. Other than that, it’s been OK– maybe not as good as it should have been, and certainly not as good as was expected or is acceptable, but definitely not headed into some kind of batshit, “blow it up, get prospects, and try again in three years” territory.
But hey! Since whichever front office person Cafardo spoke to wouldn’t technically “tip his hand,” why not characterize it so as to maximize the negativity? Gotta keep those Boston readers thinking there’s blood in the water, eh? Gotta keep on hammering away at this completely bullshit narrative.
There is zero chance the Jays start shipping out large numbers of core, under-contract players here and begin positioning themselves to punt already on 2014. Why am I so confident of that? Because it would be extraordinarily fucking stupid.