The Toronto Blue Jays, the team that embodies the "Wait Till Next Year" mentality of the late Brooklyn Dodgers, are once again sellers at deadline day, with little chance of getting into the playoffs.
This time, though, they aren't shopping a key piece to their team, but the whole damn puzzle. Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi has been actively shopping around Blue Jays ace and face of the franchise, Roy Halladay, since July 1, which is ironically Canada Day.
Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball and has been among the games elite for most of the decade. He has played with the Jays his whole career and is a sure-fire Hall of Famer when he hangs up the cleats.
But his contract is up next year and he has yet to sign an extension, so the Jays front office is opting to get something out of him instead of letting him go for nothing via free agency. Which is a flawed plan for a couple of reasons.
One the Jays have a young pitching staff and Halladay is a mentor to all of them. If he gets traded for more prospects there will be a lack of veteran leadership in the pitching staff.
Second, this trade would cripple the Blue Jays for at least two years until all these prospects develop and it will be hard to convince players like Aaron Hill and Adam Lind to stay on a losing team in Toronto.
Also it is redundant for the Jays to cut payroll with the big contracts to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, who seem to have lost all desire to play hard and have been having the worst years of their careers.
If anything trading Wells and Rios would make more sense than trading one of your teams greatest players and the face of your franchise just to cut payroll. J.P. Ricciardi is one of the worst GM's in baseball and this is an example why.
This brings me to the topic of Ricciardi. Since 2001 he has made the Jays competitive without actually making them good enough to make the playoffs. He is good enough at acquiring small pieces to keep his teams around .500 and anything above that is a product of teams playing past their potential.
Ricciardi's track record as a GM is so abysmal it pains me to list them. Nearly half of his big name acquisitions did not pan out in Toronto. From AJ Burnett to BJ Ryan in the pitching staff. To Troy Glaus and Frank Thomas basically kicking themselves off the team because the losing atmosphere in the clubhouse stunk.
He had to bring back Cito Gaston to try to revive the team, but even one of the most under-rated managers in baseball history couldn't bring this team to the playoffs.
Ricciardi has been a bust as a GM and his only accomplishment may be that he has been around for so long in the Canadian sports Mecca that is Toronto. If he trades Roy Halladay his days will be numbered.
While at least us Jays fans will get something out of losing our hero.
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