American League East Previews – Blue Jays

Today’s focus: Toronto Blue Jays

First, the good news! You know how people always toss around terms like “immovable contract”. Well when you have team owners like Arte Moreno trying to make a splash, there is no such thing. This was proven beyond the shadow of a doubt when Toronto was able to unload Vernon Wells deal this offseason with a trade to the Angels. Alex Anthopolous has now catapulted to the top of my genius GM list. Between ridding the Alex Rios contract and now Wells, the Jays now have considerable financial flexibility in the future.

Other than that, I’m afraid there’s not a lot of positives. The Jays will continue to compete in a loaded American League East that’s been a 3 team race for several seasons now. They will still have their breakout star from last year in Jose Bautista, but counting on 50+ home runs again is probably a stretch.

Notable Losses Include: Vernon Wells, Shaun Marcum, Scott Downs, Brian Tallet, Kevin Gregg, John Buck and Lyle Overbay .

Notable Pick Ups: Frank Francisco, Juan Rivera, Chad Cordero, Brett Lawrie, John Rauch, Octavio Dotel, Carlos Villaneuva, Rajai Davis and Manager John Farrell

Not exactly a who’s who list in baseball on the pick up side, but some serviceable players. While the team has been able to build up the farm system and add financial flexibility, realistically they are looking at 2012 before they could truly be competitive. I see no more then a .500 team at this point.

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