Enjoy this. We won’t be seeing it in Toronto until the Indians come to town to beat the hell out of us.
I don’t want to sit here and take a dump all over a still fairly new front office’s process and vision until I see what happens on the field this year (the first that truly belongs to them), but let’s be serious here. As a fan, letting a historically great player like Edwin Encarnacion go to Cleveland on basically the same four year, $80 million deal you offered him months ago and making it appear as though you weren’t putting in even a half assed effort to bring him back once he decided to explore the market as is his right doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence in whatever it is you’re doing here. Yes, we’re getting Steve Pearce and Kendrys Morales for fairly cheap which is nice, but good additions though they are, I’m not sure either of them is going to be the sort of total package that Edwin has been ever since they stopped making him play third base. And I obviously don’t know anything, but it’s hard for me to imagine that the timings of those signings (early December and mid November) couldn’t have been seen by Edwin and his representation as anything but a “here’s the door, happy trails” by the Jays before there was even a chance to open up talks again. Hardly the way you want to treat someone who’s done so much for the organization on the way out, nor an encouraging sign for anyone who might want to come in.
I don’t know who’s fault this is. I’m sure there’s a lot of blame to go around. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out (though I’m sure we never officially will) that most of it can be placed squarely on ownership. Doing things on the cheap regardless of how bad it looks or how well it works has Rogers written all over it. I shudder to think about how many big signings the Jays have missed out on over the years because the only results Rogers ever truly cares about are the ones in the quarterly reports. The Jays don’t have to be a winning team so long as they’re easy content for the broadcast division and continue to offer a hefty return on investment. Knowing that, it only makes what Alex Anthopoulos and his staff were able to put together all the more remarkable. It’s a shame that Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are now tasked with dismantling it. I sincerely hope they’re clever enough to work within whatever constraints they have in such a way that by this time next year, the last two playoff runs aren’t a distant memory.
As for the man himself, what can I say besides thank you for being a huge part of the best times this team has had since 1993. I hope Cleveland treats you well. And don’t worry, I’m pretty sure nobody in the stands is going to boo you when you come back home. Yes, home. Even though you’re playing for an organization we kind of hate now, you’ll always be a Blue Jay.