15

The Jays Need To Get Younger Now

Monday night was Christmas in June for many of us prospect lovers, some of whom might actually enjoy watching the Jays’ affiliates more than the Jays. Not that it’s hard to do that these days. And the MLB Draft delivered some excitement into our lives on what would have otherwise been a pretty boring evening.

Many of us were surprised by the off-the-big-time-board 12th selection Steve Sanders and company took by drafting Jordan Groshans. And the truth is not too many baseball fans really know anything about these young players being drafted anyway.

We read what Baseball America says about these different top prospects, but most of us haven’t had eyes on them – or can speak in depth about their talent. Yet, we gush because it’s fun. And we dream on them because that’s fun, too.

The draft is random. And as fans, we can only hope that top picks don’t go the way of Travis Snider. And we pray that the Jays don’t miss out on a Chris Sale with a Deck McGuire pick. There’s no way of knowing this kind of stuff, and it’s easy to look back on players the Jays passed on and make dumb comments.

In 2016, the Jays took T.J. Zeuch in the first round, 21st overall and Bo Bichette in the second round 66th overall – which is crazy to think about now. Zeuch has been good this year and was promoted from Dunedin to New Hampshire, as many of us already know. But, Bichette has been the real noisemaker. Bichette is a part of the ‘Cats’ ‘Bloodline Bashers’. Bichette looks to be a big time part of the ‘future is bright’ years.

So, we don’t know a heck of a lot about Groshans, but we do know that Steve Sanders thinks that he could be a middle of the lineup hitter – cool shit. And we know that the Jays second pick is joining the bloodline gang and Jeff Conine…I mean, Griffin Conine is the newest addition to the bloodline kids in the Jays’ system.

The Jays will continue to feed talent into this pipeline and add to the 9th best farm in the MLB as the draft pushes on – not bad at all. The thing is that we’re all staring into a fully loaded pipeline and we really should be excited about it. And as the Jays continue to play shitty baseball, the front office should really think about making this team younger now.

I know ‘Buster Bust’ said some kind of something on Tuesday about the Jays selling early as Cam wrote about yesterday, and, sure, I’m down. I’m not sure that other teams are down to buy yet though. But, I’m still down for the sake of being down.

I think once the Jays are finished loading up the farm with their draft picks, the Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins regime should get their hands dirty and do what they have wanted to do all along, which is blow this shit up.

Trade Happ and Estrada and whoever the hell else and load up on more prospects and call up the ones that are ready now. It’s time to let go of 2015 and ’16 and build for the future that will have to play hardball against the dumb good Yankees and Red Sox for years to come.

Don’t give me this it’s early June blah blah blah shit because that’s trash. The Jays aren’t going to win the World Series this year, so get what you can to add to a future team that might. And don’t play the dumb what the Jays record was in June 2015 and ’16 nonsense either because those were very different times folks.

The Dome is going to remain pretty empty this season. And who knows, maybe if the brass called up every prospect that deserves to be on this roster, they might sell more tickets. And holy shit, they might win more ball games, too.

It’s time to call up Danny Jansen. It’s time to call up Ryan Borucki. It’s time to call up Vlad. And call up Biggio, too. It’s time to bring up these younger pieces in the system and let them succeed and struggle at the MLB level. Let them set foot every day on the carpet in the Dome. And it’s time to let some of these costly players go, even if you have to choke on the fat contracts.

You can call me crazy for thinking that it’s time for Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins to unload everyone and anyone they can. And you can call me crazy for thinking that there is talent in the system ready to fill in the holes. And you can call me crazy for thinking that getting anything you can for players like Happ is the proper play this year. But, I think it’s crazy if you’re not thinking like this. It’s crazy to think that this team has a chance. There have been too many shitty yesterdays and there isn’t enough time to pile up good tomorrows.

The Jays might have to wait until the first or second week of July to unload some of these current players and load up on some prospects. But, I’m ready for it now. And I’m ready to watch some of these kids who have been doing great things down in Buffalo and New Hampshire. I’m ready to see them do fun things in Toronto now. I’m kind of over the cute little Luke Maile storyline. I’m over waiting for this team to get going. I’m over this ‘Wild Card pipe dream’ that needs to be fired into the 2018 sun.

And if they do manage to get hot in June and July and I’m wrong and they go on some winning streak, I’m fine with all of you telling me how dumb I am. It’s just that it’s time to smash this stupid shitty Wild Card whatever. And get excited for the reality around the corner. It’s time to give some of these kids in the farm a chance. That would give Jays fans a reason to watch baseball this summer.

  • Regulator Johnson

    I think you hang onto Josh because his value is basically zero right now but I agree with you in principle. This team is basically unwatchable right now. At least they could be unwatchable but with a little dash of hope for the future.

  • Dexxter

    Agreed…. but for service time reasons they won’t do that.

    They might pick a couple young guys to come up…. but they have enough guys looking for roster spots now that you can fill a lot of holes with guys coming off the DL or young guys you’ve already seen this year. Gurriel or Urena would come up for Donaldson. Stroman steps in for Happ. Borucki maybe for Estrada but likely it’s Biagini again. Maile’s been good and unless you’re making Martin a utility guy there’s nowhere to put Jansen. Pearce will be back soon and has little trade value.

    If the team stays out of the running, they won’t burn a bunch of service time when they have so many other options.

  • Oz Rob

    Nice one Rhino, totally agree. Right now the team just seems so moribund and the entertainment value is extremely low. There’s hardly even any individual player performances to get excited about. At Sportsnet Shi Davidi is saying stuff like the team isn’t as bad as this and their performance will correct itself. But maybe not. Maybe they are just not that good, injuries and all. Hindsight is 20-20, but the big blow up should’ve happened last year if not earlier. The Front Office clearly wanted too, but mis-judged and the stopgap teams they have put together for 2 years now are not working….so let’s blow it up and grow together with some youngsters rather than re-treads. Man, growing up with the Jays from 1977 to when they finally became competitive with a young team in 1983 was awesome. No pain no gain it seems. I’m just not sure we can expect to get much back in the way of prospects from our trade pool, even Donaldson. But who cares….do it.

  • Terry Mesmer

    > The thing is that we’re all staring into a fully loaded pipeline

    I am still concerned about the pitching thinness at AAA. Almost everyone there now was AA last year, or a veteran FA who no one would give an MLB contract. To start the season, the AAA depth had almost no AAA experience, though they are meant to buttress the MLB staff. I welcomed the reliever FA signings…but…

    …Chris Rowley and Nick Tepesch are on the Bisons? (In fairness, they might be better than what happened in years past, when we patched AAA with oldsters Brad Penny, Roberto Hernández, Randy Wolf, Miguel Batista, Ramon Ortiz, Jamie Moyer…ugh).

  • Terry Mesmer

    The Jays have underperformed my expectations — by a lot. It’s too early to pull the plug, though not too early to fantasise about it.

    Last year only five AL teams had winning records — the five playoff teams. It was a low bar. But right now the second wild card spot is held by a team with a .597 winning percentage (about 96 wins). If the Jays can’t crawl back to .500 by the all-star break, and the second wild card team is WAY above .500, then you can say it’s over. Deal your expiring contracts, Russell if you can, Pillar while you can, Smoak if you want, and whatever depth pieces will get you more than the cost of replacing that depth in 2019 (Solarte, Oh, I imagine).

    But just not yet. Right now, the market hasn’t developed; so many teams are waiting for their regulars to get off the DL, to get out of slumps, etc.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Its not too early, this is not a good baseball team. LMFAO, no one wants Martin and his $20 mil contract. Pillar would get the Jays nothing. Smoak has a very team friendly deal.

      • El Cabeza

        Yeah. If you’re going to trade KP, you gotta do it between Apr 20 – May 10 of any given year. You might be able to fool someone into thinking he can get on base.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Well said and I couldnt agree more. I don’t think even the most clueless, bandwagon jumping Jays “fan” believes the 2018 version has any chance of making the playoffs. It’s time for the management to commit and admit to the rebuild.

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    Tulo Update!

    Good news on Tulo everyone. He’s been cleared to go boating for the next couple of months, and doctors think that soon after that he’ll be able to take those golf trips he’s been planning on this summer. Tulo wants to sent a big shout-out to all his fans in Toronto and to tell everyone he’s looking forward to more years of not playing for the Blue Jays at a cool $20 million per. Tulo wants everyone to know that he doesn’t take this for granted and that he feels blessed!

    And there may be some news on the Winterfest front breaking soon. Tulo’s agent is working with the Blue Jays to figure out an appropriate compensation package to have Tulo make an appearance at Winterfest. Maybe let the kids sit on a pony and get a picture of Tulo standing beside the pony.

    • Kristen Sprague

      I realize that you’re kidding here but is it Tulo’s fault that he’s hurt. He hurt his ankle hustling to 1B. By all accounts, he takes pristine care of his body. The dude has a hyperbaric chamber. It’s not his fault that he’s paid $20 M a season and it’s not his fault he was traded here