GM Ross Atkins’ 10 worst strikes since 2015

With this being the thirtieth anniversary of the Blue Jays’ final World Sequence championship, Toronto followers will certainly count on higher than a fourth-place end and a 6-15 file towards divisional rivals within the AL East. Kevin Kiermaier, Daulton Varsho, Brandon Belt, Chris Bassitt and Erik Swanson, the newly renovated Rogers Heart and preseason predictions have followers excited.

So whereas it might be a disappointment to some followers, now at 40% into the season, the Blue Jays sit fourth of their division, 10.5 video games behind Tampa Bay with a 36-29 file. They’ve gained simply six video games in twenty-one tries towards AL East opponents and are 11-17 in Might. Thankfully, the baseball season is lengthy and there may be loads of room for issues to vary.

Nevertheless, regardless of all the joy that surrounds the crew, we can’t neglect some key info. As talked about, it’s been 30 years since Toronto final gained a World Sequence title. The crew hasn’t gained a playoff recreation for the reason that 2016 ALCS, and has completed in fourth place 4 instances in seven tries since Ross Atkins turned normal supervisor after the 2015 season. Examine That’s together with his predecessor’s file with the Atlanta Braves, which included 5 straight NL East pennants and a 2021 World Sequence championship, and maybe Blue Jays followers have purpose to be a bit uneasy?

To grasp how we obtained right here, it is likely to be instructive to have a look at a few of the mistreatment throughout Ross Atkins’ tenure as GM. We are able to all level to his successes, together with the free agent signings of Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien, George Springer, Kevin Gausman and, most just lately, Kevin Kiermaier.

There are some profitable trades highlighted by Matt Chapman and Jose Berrios. He discovered Teoscar Hernandez outdoors the Houston Astros group and later traded him for Eric Swanson. He additionally chosen famous person Bo Pichette, pitchers Alec Manoa and Nate Pearson, and signed catchers Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno and Lourdes Curiel Jr.

However these strikes didn’t are available isolation. The aggressive panorama in Main League Baseball, and particularly in its division, has each crew attempting to enhance itself by means of trades, free agent signings and the draft. Since Ross was employed to switch Alex Anthopoulos because the Blue Jays’ normal supervisor, their AL East rivals have additionally labored onerous to create aggressive rosters.

The Yankees have made the playoffs yearly since 2017, shedding 3 times to Houston within the ALCS. Tampa Bay has been within the postseason yearly since 2019, shedding the 2020 World Sequence to the Dodgers. The Crimson Sox have been to the playoffs 4 instances since 2016 and gained the 2018 World Sequence over Los Angeles. Even the Baltimore Orioles are on the cusp of postseason success, at present trailing Tampa within the AL East with a superb younger core.

Toronto has reached the postseason 3 times since Atkins was employed, returning to the ALCS in 2016 however retiring in each 2020 and 2022 with out an ALWC victory. Now in his eighth season because the Blue Jays’ normal supervisor, his third since he changed Charlie Montoyo with John Schneider final July; In different phrases, it’s his crew. has ‘purchased’ the precise, with MLB’s high 5 luxurious tax funds of $256 million, which Spotrac says will end in an extra $4.9 million tax penalty on the finish of the season.

After eight seasons with Atkins on the helm, the farm system is empty, with just one top-100 prospect and little or no depth within the MLB draft. MLB ranked the Jays’ farm system twentieth Its preseason rankingsBaseball America (subscription required) ranked seventeenth And it famous that there are “attention-grabbing alternatives,” which suggests largely not. Waves of MLB-ready expertise Ross Atkins assured Blue Jay followers.

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In an August 2019 interview with radio station TSN 1050, Atkins stated, “Finally, we really feel like our younger guys have made the transition at this level, and we couldn’t be extra excited to have one other wave of actually proficient pitching on our crew.” system… We can have a system that provides us expertise. and we will commerce if vital. We can have monetary flexibility and we’ve an incredible course of.

Quick ahead 4 years later, and Alec Manoa and Nate Pearson are the one native pitchers drafted into the Atkins-signed Blue Jays group on the 26-man roster. Jordan Romano and Tim Misa, whom Atkins uncovered within the Rule 5 draft, have been already within the farm system when Atkins arrived, recruited by Anthopoulos.

With former Houston Astros normal supervisor James as vp in Toronto, skilled in baseball technique, Atkins’ potential alternative is already residence if the Blue Jays can’t flip issues round and delve into the postseason within the coming months.

What are the largest errors thus far in these eight seasons which may assist clarify the dearth of postseason success and near-empty cabinets within the farm system? Might a few of these trades have prevented the Blue Jays from rebuilding and delayed their aggressive window?