When you've been a fan of a team for long enough you'll eventually run into a situation where your loyalties, and where they truly lie, get tested.
Not by other fans (though, sure, someone will always be around to question your "loyalty to the team", but no one gets to tell you how you fan. No one.), or even the team (not really), but by time itself.
And, as it pertains to this article, the ebbs and flows of an MLB roster. The trading, releasing, or failed resigning of a player that you, as a fan, have latched on to. A favourite player. Yes, we all the love the team, but like any parent will tell you... Sometimes, you love one just a little more.
Don't lie, you know it's true. Your kids know it's true.
But, I am firmly of the belief in the cliché saying "once a (Blue Jay), always a (Blue Jay). Except maybe Danny Ainge. Let's just forget that ever happened.
With that in mind, I am going to resurrect and retool an old series of mine. Understanding that sometimes it's hard to keep track of players during the long seven-month, 162 game season, I've tasked myself with doing it for you.
Except, in this incarnation, I intend to focus only on those who have once been Blue Jays, and are no longer with the team. No prospects. No "guy we traded after one minute of service time".
Though, if fans really want an update on guys like Kendall Graveman, Adeiny Hechavarria, or whoever else, leave a comment and I'll add them for future articles. Same if I've missed any past Jays people might be interested in. This list is far from a complete set of all past Blue Jays.
RAJAI DAVIS - OF - OAKLAND ATHLETICS
BLUE JAY: 2011-2013
2017 STATLINE: .214/.262/.375 (80 wRC+) 0.1 WAR
He has as many Homeruns (1) as he does Stolen Bases (also 1)... He's not getting on base, and they have him playing CF where he presently has a -1.0 UZR/150 (yes, yes, I know, defensive numbers fluctuate greatly in the lower sample sizes). All of this is to say HOW does he have 0.1 WAR? I feel like it should be in the negatives.
EDWIN ENCARNACION - 1B/DH - CLEVELAND INDIANS
BLUE JAY: 2010-2016
2017 STATLINE: .212/.350/.364 (110 wRC+) 3 HR's, 0.0 WAR
Struggled mightily early in the season but has started to turn it on the last 10-games. Striking out at 31% in that time mind you, but walking 14.3% and has a 148 wRC+ in that time. Also, he has as many stolen bases as Rajai Davis. So, clearly he's a speed demon, too...
ADAM LIND - 1B - WASHINGTON NATIONALS
BLUE JAY: 2006-2014
2017 STATLINE: .300/.364/.550 (126 wRC+) 0.2 WAR
Did anyone else know he was on Washington? I sure didn't. He isn't playing much (22 PA's in 13 games) but is being productive in what little time he's getting.
COLBY RASMUS - OF - TAMPA BAY RAYS
BLUE JAY: 2012-2014
2017 STATLINE: N/A
He's recovering from a groin injury. Has made a couple appearances in the minors for what I assume is a rehab stint. Could be activated soon. Hopefully by the next update.
MICHAEL SAUNDERS - OF - PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
BLUE JAY: 2015-2016
2017 STATLINE: .259/.295/.362 (74 wRC+) 0 HR, 0.1 WAR
This is another instance where I'm shocked he isn't a negative value player. He's also walking at just a 3.3% clip while striking out 21.3% of the time. I wonder how Jay Bruce is doing these days...
TRAVIS SNIDER - OF - TEXAS RANGERS
BLUE JAY: 2008-2011
2017 STATLINE: (AAA) .261/.346/.406 (101 wRC+)
He's trying to work his way back to the bigs, putting up okay numbers in AAA, but was a 1.5 WAR player in Pittsburgh in 2014, so I have to believe he has something left in his bat going forward.
ERIC THAMES - 1B - MILWAUKEE BREWERS
BLUE JAY: 2011-2012
2017 STATLINE: .373/.481/.910 (255 wRC+) 10 HR, 1.8 WAR
He's already earned the entirety of his 3-year $16M contract in the first month of the season. If he stays away from being a negative value player going forward the Brewers may have hit the jackpot on this lottery ticket. Good for Epic Thumbs.
BRETT CECIL - P - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
BLUE JAY: 2009-2016
2017 STATLINE: 5.87 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 7.2 IP, 0.0 WAR
Difficult to evaluate 7 innings from a reliever so these stats are presented without comment.
R.A. DICKEY - P - ATLANTA BRAVES
BLUE JAY: 2013-2016
2017 STATLINE: 1-2 (18.2 IP), 3.86 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 0.0 WAR
I, admittedly, didn't see any major changes in his statline except he has a GB% of 52.5 which is 10.4 points higher than it was last year. Just looks like normal, inning eating, fairly consistent but generally unremarkable Dickey.
BRANDON MORROW - P - LOS ANGELES DODGERS
BLUE JAY: 2010-2014
2017 STATLINE: (AAA) 11.57 ERA, 3.38 FIP
He didn't crack the 25-man roster in LA so he's relieving in Triple-A right now. I'll keep updating and if he makes a return to the MLB I'll let you know.
There we have it. The first 'Always Blue Jays' is in the book. Again, if you have players you'd like to see added leave it in the comments. I know I've missed some, I always do, but I'll make sure to add some to the next addition (which I'll be doing every 2 weeks, likely on Sunday from now on).
Thank you for reading. And Go Jays (past and present) Go!!!