On the back of a wild and unforgettable playoff run, most Blue Jays fans would have been expecting the fireworks and excitement to carry over into the offseason. With all the momentum being capitalized on and the team being wisely retooled for the 2016 campaign. After all, the window of contention for the "old guard" of R.A. Dickey, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion is nearly closed. It hasn't quite worked out that way. A conclusion that could be (and probably is) premature. But it also could be troubling. Despite reports of massive increases in season ticket sales and flex pack buyers, the team has decided to take a slightly cautious route and spend their money more conservatively. No, this is not a #rogersischeap rant, this is just a concerned look at how the team is going about things this offseason.
Standing on their own without context, the team's offseason transactions are hardly egregious, but they happen to come on the tails of Alex Anthopoulos' departure. The most gutsy decision-maker in charge of the team in recent memory. The overblown response to the arrival of Mark Shapiro was that he would operate as more of a small market guy and perhaps take a safer more methodological approach to running a baseball club. Most reasonable Jays fans saw this as an unfair criticism of a man that had not even been given a chance to do his job yet and was simply caught in an awkward situation. But then the team proceeded to trade for Jesse Chavez and sign free agent pitcher J.A. Happ. Along with the re-signing of Marco Estrada, the Blue Jays looked to have filled the majority of their rotation spots. The way they did it looks somewhat "small market-esque", perhaps the decisions could even be described as "safe".
Now on December 1st, the worst thing anyone can do is assume the offseason is over and the current squad is the same group of guys who will show up to Dunedin in February for Spring Training. That being said, it gives you pause to look at the Blue Jays "major" transactions since the offseason began:
- October 29: General Manager Alex Anthopoulos leaves the team
- November 13: Blue Jays re-sign Marco Estrada to two-year deal worth $26 million
- November 20: Blue Jays trade Liam Hendriks for Jesse Chavez
- November 27: Blue Jays sign J.A. Happ to three-year deal worth $36 million