12.15.2009

Dawn of a New Jays Era


I'd like to start off today's post with a statement: Roy Halladay was brought up right. His parents did an outstanding job. Here's a guy who could of gone through this trading ordeal two or three times, but he decided instead to extend with the Jays because he thought "maybe we can win". They could not, so he politely asks for a trade, extends with that team at a reduced "discount" rate - something most top 5 pitchers would never dream of doing because their greed blinds them - and allows the deal to happen. In doing so, he allows the Jays the opportunity to quicken the process of rebuilding without him, since they get players close to MLB ready instead of draft picks, and it also gives him a chance to win sooner. Thank you Doc, and thanks to your parents for raising you the right way. Thanks for the 11 years of professional, dedicated, and outstanding work. You'll be missed by all Jays fans and players to be sure, and hopefully will be recognized some day with the retiring of your number. You have my vote.

 Now, I certainly hope all of the Jays young guns were taking notes during this entire ordeal, and I mean all of them. How he went about things, dealt with the media, prepared each day, his training regimen, I hope it all sticks in their minds so that they get a chance to become great as well. As of this moment, the rumored added pieces of Kyle Drabek, Michael Talor, and Travis d'Arnaud (ranked 2,3,4 as Phillies prospects this off season by BA) add depth to the Jays and should allow for one hell of a pitching staff in the not too distant future.

I have one question for you all: How in the world did Alex Anthopolous have the time, never mind the inclination, to go out and sign C Ramon Castro while all of this 3-way dealing was going on? Couldn't it have waited? It now looks like since he's been signed to a major league contract and Raul Chavez got a minors deal, that Raul will be headed to AAA in support of JP Arencibia. Nice move which provides depth at a very cheap rate and allows for the growth of a young player who could become great!

Here's our 2011 lineup without all of the other expected trades Alex is likely to make. It looks well balanced to me, although it lacks speed and a lead off hitter.

2B - Aaron Hill 
RF - Michael Taylor
LF - Travis Snider
DH - Adam Lind
C - JP Arencibia
CF - Vernon Wells
3B - Edwin Encarnacion
1B - Brian Dopirak
SS - Alex Gonzalez

When you consider the fact that all of the guys 1 through 8 can hit 20+ HRs per season, it looks pretty good! But....What I don't get, is that with the pieces available from Seattle, why take d'Arnaud instead of a guy like  SS Carlos Triunfel? Or even their 3B Alex Liddi who tore up HiA this past season (although in High Desert, which always boosts stats). We have nobody that is close to ready to take up those positions, although judging from how quickly and effectively Alex has operated, that should be addressed when necessary. What I like about adding Taylor is that he allows Snider to shift to LF, a much better spot for him. What I don't like, it leaves Wells in CF so long as we gulp up his contract. Michael Taylor will produce like a Mike Cameron in terms of power and speed (25/25) but will do so while hitting for average, which makes him a future star. I'd like to see him develop into a Torii Hunter or Jayson Werth caibre player, who do everything well defensively and offensively.

The 2011 Rotation:

1- Ricky Romero
2- Bret Cecil
3- Marc Rzcepczynski
4- Shaun Marcum / Zach Stewart if Shaun not healthy
5- Kyle Drabek

Others: Jesse Litsch, Scott Richmond, Dustin McGowan (may head to the pen), David Purcey, Brad Mills, Reidier Gonzalez, Zach Stewart, Luis Perez

I love the potential of that rotation. When you add the fact that by then Henderson Alvarez and Chad Jenkins should be knocking on the door, it makes me smile like a kid in a candy store!

So, what does that leave Alex with to fill our 3B and SS deficiencies? He has the extra starters from the list above, as well as pending FA relievers (after this season) of Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, Brian Tallet,  Jeremy Accardo, Shawn Camp, as well as Lyle Overbay. These names provide us with a ton to speculate about and the rest of the off-season to wonder who will be traded where, if traded at all. Alex may decide to keep Frasor and Camp, but the remainder, along with some starters, may be on the move very soon.

Alex also has the following picks to work with in 2010 draft: 11th, 33rd (for losing Scutaro), 38th (failure to sign James Paxton), 50th, 67th (will be official when Lackey signs, we get this pick instead of 29th from Boston), 69th (failure to sign Jake Eliopolous), 82nd, and 102nd (for failure to sign Jake Barrett). They'll get one more pick in there (30-40 range) when Rod Barajas signs elsewhere. That gives Alex a total of 5 top 50 picks, and 9 top 100 picks. Remember, there are 30 teams in MLB, so if things were split evenly, the Jays would get 3 picks in the top 90 instead of the 9 they'll have in 2010. That's a ton of talent to add to any team's minors system and one that Alex Athopolous is making sure he'll be ready for by spending a lot on scouting and development.

Alex's accomplishments in such a short period are outstanding and I tip my hat to him. Within 2 years he will be responsible for a very competitive and exciting team. The Toronto Blue Jays finally have direction and thankfully it comes from the top. It's the dawn of a new era, and one I'm very thankful to be able to witness.
Thank you Alex "The Great" Anthopolous.

6 comments:

  1. fishercatsfan12/15/09, 8:16 AM

    I don't think Drabek is big league ready yet. If I remember correctly he doesn't have much if any aaa experience. Then again neither did Zep.

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  2. fishercatsfan12/15/09, 8:18 AM

    Also that pick from boston will likely drop lower if they sign one of the other type a fa they are looking at. Which they probably will.

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  3. I can't wait until this get's finished so that we can really start looking at the future.

    I am going out today to get my Halladay jersey framed, and I am now openly searching for my new favourite Jay... Any early favourites?

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  4. I agree fischcatsfan, which is why I decided to post the 2011 lineup instead of 2010. I think that so many changes will happen in the 2010 lineup that it's a little superficial for me to put it up, but it does display how strong the core is going to be when you add Drabek to Alvarez and Jenkins - then add all of the picks in 2010.

    I still expect Travis Snider to break out the same way Adam Lind did in 2009, so if I were you I'd leave i blank until then - or, if you want a sure thing, put Aaron Hill on there who is a top 3 second baseman in all of MLB and signed through 2014 at less than 10 million per season. A true long term Jay.

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  5. fishercatsfan12/15/09, 1:19 PM

    Scott, pick up a Zep jersey. He won't be a Halladay but he will be a Lackey-esk pitcher for years to come. Maybe more Webb-y. Plus it looks funny on the back of a jersey.

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