"This might be one of those pointless ‘what if’ questions (and I’ll get hammered by DJF I’m sure), but I’m curious to get your opinion on what the state and future of the Jays might have been if the Florida and Dickey trades had not been made in the off season. There would have been some tinkering with the lineup of course, but would we have been in a better position going into 2014 if they had never happened? I was really buying into the build for the future concept, but also bought into the trades." Rob Brander - Sydney Australia...
Hi Rob - It appears Stoeten did not bash your question but instead took it as a grand opportunity to go into full Rogers apology mode. I'll try to answer it. Sorry for the grammar and spelling and disrespect for Beeston and company. Keep in mind I'm just an insufferable sour puss, not a paid part of the media complex, and am just typing this out quickly in 20 minutes as I eat my breakfast and prepare for a day of work.
According to Stoeten the Jays had to go "all in" because of their stellar aging core of Bautista and EE... By the time the prospects develop in 2016 Bautista and EE will be too elderly to contribute. (note. Bautista may allready be too elderly... a great, great player but 33 next year missing 50 games a year).
This brings us back to the question of whether Bautista at 32 coming off of an injury and EE at 30 with one great season were really the kind of core players one goes "all in" with. In 1991 the core was really Alomar (23), and White (28) who would amass about 35 WAR over 91-93. Over these years their combined age was 25-27. I love Bautista and EE as hitters... and at their best are a core you'd go "all-in" with. But the reality is that Bautista's best won't even overlap with EEs best.... Do you go all in with a 30-32 year old and a 32-34 year old with huge injury flags??
Stoeten cherry picks a few failures (Snider, Drabek) and acts like he can predict the future path of prospects. He also does some sleezy tricks like failing to mention Syndegard in the list of core pitchers because apparently he is to young for a full work load... valid in a way, but disengenious in that Syndegard has just as much chance of providing 150 great innings next year as Morrow does.
So without the trades (and lets undo the Happ, Snider, and Thames trades as well.. they were really part of "all-in") the potential starters are Romero, Morrow, Syndegard, Hutch, Drabek, Nicolina, Woj, Stroman, Nolin, Redmond, DeSclafani. That's a very deep group. Young pitchers fail. But if you start with 10 and add in some guys who aren't on the radar yet?? I like the chances.
Without the trades there is depth at multiple positions. Escobar/Hech at short, Arencibia/D'arnaud at catcher, Gose/Marisnick/Rasmus in center, Snider/Thames/Pillar. Lawrie. And you still have Bautista/EE who can contribute or be moved for other young pieces.
So without the "all-in" the Jays would have tremendous depth. Would this translate into a good team??
It's easy to point out that many of these players have weaknesses or can be expected to fail. But (to give him credit) Stoeten rightly points out veterans fail as well. Baseball players both young and veteran often crash, burn and fail.
I remember in the late 90s the Jays had 4 good looking young middle infield prospects, Izturus, Lopez, Michael Young, and Aberthny. All were eventually discarded. Only Michael Young had a good run. Anyway when they were prospects no one predicted Young would be the best... The point is that no one, not the scouts, not the numbers guys, knows exactly how these guys will turn out. You need to start with multiple guys, and then have a player development process to develop and sort through them.
John Farrell mentioned the other day the Jays lack player development. Player development is often a process of taking many, many, many young players, teaching them, sorting through them and getting a few major leaguers out of the process. With a good player development system and a good base of young players an organization will do well in the long run.
So IF the Jays had a good player development process they would of been much, much better without "all-in". But John Farrell argues that the Jays don't have a good player development process. So I suppose in the end, if Farrell is right, the Jays had to go "all-in". If the Jays can't develop players, the only choice is to collect old guys and hope they defy age.
Great and complicated question. Best wishes.