Baseball teams have reached a stage where most of their moves are done. For example, a lot of teams are holding their winter pow-wow as an organization; where key free agents or acquisitions are rolled out and introduced to their fan base.
The Toronto Blue Jays are taking a little different approach. Aggressive from the first bell this off-season, their front office remains in the same position. If they can improve their ball club, they will do it.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 15, 2020
It sounds like bullpen is an area they want to upgrade. For instance, that spot in particular was mentioned by Atkins when asked by Nicholson-Smith. He also added this quote.
“We’re also extremely open to something of significant impact,” Atkins said at Rogers Centre following Yamaguchi’s introduction. “But that’s more than likely only going to occur via trade, but the likelihood of that occurring is still very hard to say. Executing trades of significant impact is very difficult to do.”
Remember, they have an architect at Atkins’ side in Mark Shapiro who oversaw a turnaround before in Cleveland. Undeniably, the Toronto payroll has more flexibility than he had in Cleveland.
“All too often everyone focuses on the opening day roster, including front offices,” Atkins said. “Teams can sometimes make mistakes thinking about that too much as opposed to just thinking, ‘What does our team look like on day 10? What does our team look like on day 15?’”
Perhaps Toronto smells blood in the water with what has happened to Boston and Houston, and wants to contend and surprise a year early. Or maybe they just want to field a more competitive team.
Padres over 83
Blue jays over 76
Rockies over 74
Angels over 85.5
Dodgers under 99
*we will dig this up in October pic.twitter.com/R3ush7nDR9
— Clint (@DiamondHoggers) January 15, 2020
Toronto was posted as a win total of 74, and I think they have a good chance of surpassing that expectation or forecast. It sounds like this is only the beginning, according to Atkins.
“We feel very good about where we are as an organization,” Atkins said. “This off-season’s just a snapshot in our progression towards becoming a championship team. We’ve accomplished our goals for the off-season, but it’s just never-ending.”
Finally, if the Blue Jays remain this aggressive all throughout their rebuild and refuse to sell off or waive the white flag; they’re going to make a jump and be good for a long time. I like how they have tried to get creative and add to an already nice nucleus.