Thursday, June 13, 2024

End of Jays?


With Cavan Biggio being picked up by the Dodgers, there's a sense that whatever process began in 2019 with the arrival of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio has since dissipated. The attempts to strengthen the team have resulted in dealing away great central pieces like Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel, letting great trades like Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman walk away in free agency, and sitting on contracts like George Springer's and Kevin Kiermaier's as they age out of their primes. 

And thus we have this current moment, where the team's circling last, and they're seriously considering trading Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

I remember the buzz in 2018 about Bichette and Guerrero, and even if the Jays weren't terrible in 2018 there was a sense that these young kids would be a new foundation that would bring the team back to relevancy. And in a sense they did, as Vlad made a few Home Run Derbys, has made 3 straight All-Star teams, nearly won an MVP in 2021, has a home run title and, even in a lesser year, still feels like one of the best hitters in the game. Same with Bo Bichette, who's already led the league in hits twice, hit for .300 three times and has shown more versatility and range than even his dad. With these two, and a few others, the Jays made the playoffs 3 times in the 2020s...though they couldn't get past the Wild Card round each time. Last year stung the most, as it was the confirmation that this team, no matter who was at the helm, just couldn't succeed in October.

And with the current fourth place position and sub-.500 record, the Jays are seriously thinking about whether or not it's worth it to keep competing. Next year alone the Jays will lose Yusei Kikuchi, Yimi Garcia, Kevin Kiermaier and Danny Jansen, and are coming to the end of contracts with Vlad Jr., Jordan Romano and Bo Bichette. Already, this team has openly discussed dealing some of these guys, even Vlad. And that's very upsetting, considering that at one point Vlad felt like the future of this club.

This year he's had decent enough numbers,  hitting .281 with 7 homers and 30 RBIs, but he's definitely gotten hotter in the last few weeks. I think he knows teams are gonna be looking at him, and wants to come off as strong as possible, even if it means parting with the organization his father entrusted to bring him up. It's uncertain who'll be making the deal, but Houston, San Francisco, Cincinnati, maybe even Seattle or New York, could go for an upgrade at 1st. Or maybe none of it happens and he rounds out the year in Toronto. Or maybe somehow the Jays figure it out and stuff themselves back into the race.

I don't know if the Jays are gonna sell this year, but if it does happen, it'll bring out some sadness in me that I never thought I'd feel for a Jays team after 2016. 

Coming Tomorrow- It is June, and there is a team where literally nobody is worth making a custom of. So I had to go with a reliever. 

1 comment:

  1. It's been a disappointing year so far. And so many pitching injuries.