There comes a time in every Toronto sports team's regular season about 75% of the way into it, where fans debate whether the rest of the games would be more helpful if they were lost or won. That time has essentially arrived for the 2013 version of the Toronto Blue Jays as there's currently a 0.1% chance of the Blue Jays getting a wild card spot. Looking at the reverse standings provided by MLB Trade Rumours, if the Blue Jays finish in the same position at the end of the season as they do now, they would get the #10 and #11 picks in next year's draft due to not being able to sign Phillip Bickford this year.
With one of the hardest remaining schedules coming down the stretch, if the Blue Jays improved their play significantly the best possible likely outcome would be a fourth place finish in the AL East and a single digit gap to the second wildcard. Besides some possible extra attendance numbers and revenue from winning games down the stretch, this strong finish would accomplish nothing for the organization and get them a middle of the pack unprotected pick in next year's draft, which is supposed to be stronger than this year's.
Two picks placed so early in next year's draft could allow the team's front office to split strategies and take a risk with one of the picks with the possibility of the player not signing and still knowing they have a second high draft pick to go a safer route with. They could also go all out and draft two high upside players and hope at least one of them pans out. That strategy would be similar to what the Pittsburgh Pirates did in this year's draft by picking high school outfielder Austin Meadows ninth and high schooler catcher Reese McGuire fourteenth. If the Blue Jays really wanted to replicate the Pirates they could also be in a playoff race next year, while at the same time stacking their minor league system.
There's always two very vocal sides to the so-called tanking debate with sports fans, especially in Major League Baseball, where a high draft pick doesn't guarantee a star player in a few years. A lot of fans want to see their team win and worry about next year's season next year. On the flip side of the coin is fans who look beyond the end of September and see that the season is a lost cause and anything that would improve the future strength of the organization should be attempted.
Obviously Alex Anthopoulos isn't going to walk into the Blue Jays' clubhouse and tell a team with a payroll of nearly $120 million to start losing on purpose, mind you this year they've had enough initiative to do it all themselves. That doesn't change the fact that we as fans can hope for a certain outcome the rest of the way this season. So let's hear it, what do you want to transpire in the last two month's of this disappointing Blue Jays season.