Is it a coincidence that the real stock market collapsed just as the Blue Jays stocks took off? Yes, that's likely the best example of a coincidence that you can find. But no matter, at least we're seeing profits in one area of our lives. The Blue Jays sit at 82-61, good enough for a 3.5 game lead in the American League East and a very good chance at a playoff spot.
Things have changed pretty dramatically since the last report, where speculators weren't sure which way the market was about to turn. Even earlier in the year it was actually a bear market, as pitching stocks had reached the brink of a collapse until recently turning it around. All across the market, the Blue Jays fund is the talk of the trading floor as they're the shiny new favourites to win the World Series after just being a risky gamble earlier in the year.
I never expected to have to say this, but these stocks don't actually exist! While other SBNation sites are actually forced to write about their players as financial instruments, we're here just simply passing the time on an off-day.
Blue Chip Stocks
The team started with five blue chip stocks prior to the year, but quickly dropped down to three thanks to poor pitching performances. With the team trending upwards, the amount of top-level stocks has increased to a respectable count of four. Jose Bautista (JBAU) has carried the team for years and deserves blue chip status until he closes up shop and takes himself off the market. The slugger is slashing .254/.373/.538 this year with 35 home runs, which has come to be expected annually from the right fielder. He's the Disney of this Blue Jays generation. If you bought this stock when he first came onto the scene, you'd have steady gains by now. Edwin Encarnacion (EE) retains his blue chip status as well thanks to a monster second half that includes an on-base streak of 42 games. Since August 1, his OBP is a mammoth .439 and he's been a stud in the meat of the order. Josh Donaldson (RAIN) easily retains his status as well, due to the fact that he's the most attractive stock in the entire market. He leads the team and American League in nearly everything and should be a blue chip with the Jays for years to come. Despite the price, you should still buy RAIN!
The new blue chip in town, without a doubt, is David Price (ACE) who was acquired in a much talked about deal with another fund. The lefty has joined the team and been a rock in an otherwise shaky rotation. In eight starts he has a FIP of 2.20 and features some metrics that a Blue Jays starter hasn't boasted in a long time. The rental has paid off his dividends thus far which is all that fund manager Alex Anthopoulos could have hoped for.
The Blue Jays team is composed mainly of value stocks and the aforementioned blue chips, which is a good asset mix to have (who needs bonds?). Roberto Osuna (ROBO) has barely put a foot wrong since his IPO in Q1 and has grown into one of the most underrated stocks in the entire market. Paying only $507,500 for an asset that accumulates these types of gains is a godsend in a volatile market such as this. Another underrated arm is Marco Estrada (ESTR), who has slowly climbed his way up these reports and now finally reaches his deserved place. The righty has outperformed even the most optimistic of speculators and somehow become one of the most consistent starters on the team.
Brett Cecil (CECL) was considered a volatile stock in the July 16 report, but he was actually at the beginning of his 27-game scoreless streak that is still active. It goes to show you that point of view is everything. Who would have known we were about to embark on an trend up a mountain instead of all the small hills that CECL had previously created with his volatility prior to that. Joining him in the value stock section is Liam Hendriks (AUSI), who has been dominant this season while receiving very little respect from the powers that be. One of the most effective arms in the bullpen, AUSI has found himself mainly in medium-leverage situations which is not how his metrics show he should be utilized. Aaron Sanchez (SINK) has allowed just three runs since his placement in the bullpen in late July, pitching the eighth inning almost every time.
Moving away from the pitchers, a multitude of bats also find themselves in the value stock category. Russell Martin (RUSS) hasn't hit much this season, but the backstop has provided solid defence and thrown out a league-leading 43% of would-be base stealers. Chris Colabello (COLA) has not been used as much as many traders would like, but the righty has hit .394/.452/.697 since August 1 and is easily the biggest surprise of the Blue Jays season. He is still very much underpriced by the market as a whole despite what he has done.
There's some new additions to the portfolio that find themselves in this category as well. LaTroy Hawkins (OLD) and Mark Lowe (LOWE) have been steady out of the bullpen and were probably purchased for fair value from their past owners. Ben Revere (SNGL) and his empty batting average have been a great acquisition as well, although it may be too late to buy this asset for a reasonable price.
Risky Gambles Still In Their Growth Phase
Luckily for the Blue Jays, along with all of the solid stocks performing this season, there have also been valuable contributions by so-called "risky gambles" that have helped the team win games as well. Included in this category is Ryan Goins (GLVE), who has the rest of the season to prove whether he is a value stock or a disappointing bubble. Thrust into the starting shortstop role right as he is heating up, Goins is in the perfect position to succeed and could provide substantial gains to an investor who decides to take the gamble. Along with GLVE is the volatile Kevin Pillar (GRIT), whose value has taken a hit since the last report. The centre fielder hasn't done much in the second half of the season and only brings defence to the table at this point. John Gibbons is doing his best not to provide Dalton Pompey (POMP) a chance to put pressure on GRIT, but at some point it will become obvious that Pillar is likely just a fourth outfielder.
On the pitching side of things, Ryan Tepera (CUTR) and Bo Schultz (BO) were considered gambles in the last report and nothing much has changed. CUTR has not been given enough opportunities to perform in a crowded bullpen, while BO has likely pitched himself off the postseason roster.
A unique case in this category is Marcus Stroman (STRO), who is not risky in the same way as the other assets. STRO has already shown that he has blue chip upside, but due to the fact that he only just resumed operations it remains to be seen if he can continue to realize his potential. For an investor that loves risk with a high payoff, bet your house on STRO. He's the Tesla of this Blue Jays fund.
In the last report, only one asset was a garbage stock. That man was R.A. Dickey (DICK) who received very little praise and was said to have:
well and truly fallen from blue chip to garbage stock in a matter of a few years thanks to consistently poor performances. He finds himself alone in the waste basket as no other asset on the Blue Jays books provides so little upside at this point in the year.
The old dog showed he still had some fight left and has gone on to prove he is no bear. Since the report, DICK has a 2.98 ERA in 12 starts and is looking like one of the four starters who will be in the playoff rotation. It's like Blockbuster LLC rising from the dead!
Mark Buehrle (BUEH) was rolling along this year towards another 200-inning campaign until recent injuries put his future in doubt. Since the last report, DICK has trended up while BUEH has trended in the exact opposite direction. It may be that the southpaw has reached the end of his business cycle and must be made obsolete.
While Dickey scrapped himself out of this category at the beginning of Q3, these assets look like they have little hope of a similar outcome. Drew Hutchison (SIGH) hasn't been good enough for a large portion of his time in the Blue Jays fund and it's unlikely he finds himself anywhere near a playoff start. Bullpen arms that share the same fate include Steve Delabar (SPLT) and Jeff Francis (OMG) who have been bad. Just plain bad.
Justin Smoak (SMOK).
Troy Tulowitzki (TULO) was an exciting acquisition near the closing bell of July, but a recent injury has closed his doors for a few weeks. Another solid company with suspended operations is Devon Travis (DEVO) who looks unlikely to return this season unfortunately.
There you have it folks! Another stock market report is in the books. While your real life holdings are likely in the dumps, your Blue Jays assets are on the rise and should provide mountains of intangible emotional gains. What ratings do you disagree with? Let the curious investors know in the comments.