MLB Trade Rumors: Blue Jays Can Contend in the AL East Without Being Bullied

George Halim@@GeorgeH66Correspondent IIJuly 24, 2012

Alex Anthopoulos has been a force to be reckoned with since taking the reigns in 2009.
Alex Anthopoulos has been a force to be reckoned with since taking the reigns in 2009.

The Toronto Blue Jays are on a path of golden bricks, regardless of what's happening around them. 

The American League East is arguably the toughest division to maneuver in, mainly because of the star power that comes out of it every year. At the 2012 All-Star game, five of the starting nine players for the American League came out of the AL East, with the rest being Rangers players (with the exception of Prince Fielder).

Every division has playoff contenders, but the AL East has World Series contenders.

Regardless of the Ichiro signing, or Baltimore potentially landing Placido Polanco, or Boston rapidly regaining strength, Jays fans have begun their toe-tapping. That shouldn't be the case at all.

Instead of giving in to the hype and awarding a quality player much more cash than he deserves, understand that Toronto has an arsenal every team wishes they had: MLB caliber minor leaguers.

General Manager Alex Anthopoulos is at the helm of a well-oiled machine that is the Blue Jays' farm system, which is why he's not panicking.  

With players signing with what seems like every team other team but Toronto, it's easy to believe the Jays should follow suit. But it's exercising patience that gives Anthopoulos credibility and the ability to pounce on players at any time.

Since working in his new office, Anthopoulos unloaded the payroll-hefty contract of Vernon Wells, and was left with wiggle room since the Rios trade, forcing him to start from scratch in the outfield. Alas, standing in the outfield on a daily basis in place of Rios and Wells are Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus. Not a bad trade-off. 

So if Toronto gives in to the B.J. Ryans of this year's deadline, they will be doing more harm than good.

Toronto has lost Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Luis Perez, Sergio Santos, Jason Frasor, Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie this season. All are key players, and four could potentially return this season. 

Yet through the fog of injuries, the birds are three games out of a playoff spot, making them a serious threat from north of the border without having spent a dime, yet.