Joel Sherman had an interesting piece at the New York Post today and it is similiar to something I have already touched upon, the Toronto Blue Jays are close to becoming a powerhouse. Sherman gets quotes from long time New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman and even 3B Alex Rodriguez who both lavish praise upon what the Blue Jays are building.
“This is not a long-term project anymore,” Cashman said. “They are knocking on the door. It is undeniable that they are going to win and win for a while. They are reaping the benefits of great scouting, patience and doing things right.”
Or as Alex Rodriguez said, “They aren’t a secret anymore.”
Toronto is viewed as having a top-three farm system with one scout calling the Jays’ 2011 Double-A team the best he had ever seen. The Jays have formulated “a lineup without an easy out,” Mark Teixeira said.
Here are a few more highlites from the article:
Imagine what the Rays would look like with the finances to keep all of their best players.
Now stop imagining. Because it is happening. Unfortunately for the Rays, it is not in Tampa Bay. Heck, it is not even in this country.
The Blue Jays, methodically, have assembled a talent base at both the major and minor league levels that has them poised to turn the AL East into a Fearsome Foursome. That unsettles no one more than what had been the Terrific Trio of New York, Boston and Tampa. As Yankees GM Brian Cashman said, “It is not good for anyone going up against them.”
In a way, this is about well-kept secrets. For example, do you know that the Blue Jays have averaged 83 wins over the last six years, finishing above .500 in five of them? Doesn’t sound like much, except remember they have amassed those totals playing 18 games annually against each of the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. That is one-third of an entire schedule.
You know how hard it is to even win 81 games like the Jays did last year when three teams in your division win at least 90? Or win 85 when three others win at least 89 as occurred in 2010? It is like a mathematical trick or — more aptly — symbolic of just how good Toronto has become.
Here is another thing you might not know: Toronto’s owner, Rogers Communication, just might be the majors’ richest ownership. Thus the money is there to take the payroll to places the Rays could never dream about; keep the homegrown elites that ultimately flee Tampa.