Hugo: The Jays farm system has really climbed the rankings since Alex Anthopolous became the General Manager (really, the climb started with the Scott Rolen trade). Do you like what AA has been doing, and how do you see the improved farm system paying dividends for the Jays going forward? Between the current major league roster and the farm, where do you see the window of contention? Tom: I like what he has been doing, for the most part, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the odd ‘win now’ type move. I know we are building to the future and all, but why can’t we spend a little money on now. Signing a slugging DH or OFer to a short term contract wouldn’t hurt the long term plans and might capitalize on a moment when the Rays and the Yankees look like they might fall back some.
JohnnyG: I mentioned it above but I think I have really drank the Kool-Aid when it comes to the team and the plan that AA has implemented. I love the way we have sky-rocketed through the rankings and love how great our future looks with the number of young promising players we have. Again I would love to see some of the win-now type of moves that Tom talks about, but I don’t think it irks me as much as it does some people. As for a window of contention? While I think we will be competitive over the next few years, I really see 2-3 years from now is when things really start to take off. As for the window? I think that is the major difference we will see from the past couple of times we have pushed for the Playoffs. This time, I think the window is going to be much larger with the number of young guys we have.
Hugo: You bring up a good point about one thing I really appreciate about what AA is trying to do, and when I get a bit impatient I remind myself. For the past several years Jays fans have talked about whether 2012 or whenever is "the year." AA is really building the core of a team for which there won’t be a "the year," but a number of years where the Jays are legitimate contenders every season. There’s still some work to do as I don’t see the position players quite there yet, but it’s getting there. At the same time, there are some really exciting players on the Jays now that should make 2011 a lot of fun. I just wish the team was a little more willing to spend in the short term in ways that don’t hurt what AA is trying to do in the long term.
Tom: I’d like to see them spend a little on this coming year, we are paper thin at the corner spots. Even if Rajai hits like he did last year, the way things are at the moment, we are stuck with playing him. The future does look bright but I’d like a sign that we’d make needed pickups when the time comes. If we are going to contend, one day, we’ll have to pick up the odd guy to fill holes. Is there any sign that the team would be willing to do that?
JohnnyG: I guess the flip side of that "is there any sign that the team wouldn’t be willing to do that? While I can agree with the sentiment it would be nice to add someone now as it is always better to watch a winning team then a losing one. I don’t really see the two situations of then and now as parallel and as such I don’t see their reluctance to go out and spend to fill a spot now the same as if it would be in the hypothetical future scenario.
Tom: I suppose it is harder to prove a negative, maybe they will pull the trigger when the time comes, I’d just like to see them do it once to let me know they can. As for the ‘window of contention’, I think we are looking 2013 at best now. In 2012 we’ll be breaking in a few rookies and I’d think it will take a year for them to make an impact.
Hugo: I’d definitely say I buy into AA’s long-term plans and philosophy, but I, too, would like to see the Jays make a move or two that strengthens the team in the short-term without adding a long-term obligation or otherwise negatively impacting future plans. I wouldn’t say the team is punting on this season, exactly, but at the same time I think the team is too good as currently constructed to just stand pat, unless the team thinks that 2010 was a fluke, which I do not.