Don't be surprised if the Toronto Blue Jays receive accolades for top organization come the end of 2012. While a lot hinges on how the rest of the season pans out, there is no question that GM Alex Anthopoulos and his team have built a solid foundation at the major league level.
From draft picks like J.P. Arencibia and Ricky Romero to additions via trade like Yunel Escobar, Brett Lawrie, and Colby Rasmus, the Blue Jays have added solid young players from all possible avenues.
Let's not forget the trade that sent Jose Bautista up north for Robinzon Diaz, who is now with the Angels and has not played in the majors since 2009. Or how about Edwin Encarnacion in the Scott Rolen trade?
The pitching staff is full with young quality arms anchored by Romero, followed by Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek, both acquired through trades. The next two are 22-year old Henderson Alvarez and 21-year old Drew Hutchison, who are both holding their own but will be relied on heavily down the stretch.
What the first two months of the season have shown is that the AL East is up for grabs, and the Jays have a stronger foundation than the Red Sox and Orioles, even before we get to the situation at hand.
The Blue Jays have several possibilities for where they could add talent from outside the organization. While most suspect the team will target pitching, it is possible they add a first baseman, or even an outfielder that could rotate with Rajai Davis and Edwin Encarnacion, who is the designated hitter.
If the Cubs sell aggressively at the deadline, they could have a serious chance at landing Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, or even first baseman Bryan LaHair. LaHair is having a great season and the question for the Jays becomes whether or not they believe in David Cooper or Adam Lind.
Garza would be a tremendous pickup, giving them an ace caliber pitcher and allowing one of their young guns a lighter workload. It helps them win-now but also sets them up for the future.
Another intriguing possibility is Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who is 5-4 with a 3.27 ERA, 55 strikeouts, and a 1.27 WHIP in 13 starts. He has been made available before but the Astros have held firm on their demands.
The bottom line is the Blue Jays have the pieces in their system to make a big splash, and they would be wise to make a move that will help them in 2012 and beyond as the window just got bigger with the addition of two wild card teams in the postseason.
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