Realignment

JP Ricciardi

Recently, Jays’ GM J.P. Ricciardi has commented that the Jays are unable to compete in the AL East with a payroll of $70 million (which is 17th in all of baseball).

“I’d have to say for the money we had to work with and what we got, we’re probably doing as expected,” Ricciardi said before last night’s game. “I don’t think you’re going to win this division on $70 million. I don’t think you’re going to make the playoffs on $70 million.

“I think you can be competitive and you can have some good years, but I think these two teams (Boston and New York) with their payroll, it’s going to be really tough to catch these guys if we stay at a $70-million payroll. It doesn’t mean we can’t be good, we can’t compete. I just don’t think you’re going to see a chance to win 95, 100 games.”

As Buster Olney from ESPN.com remarked, the Jays and Rays are faced with contending against baseball’s two financial monsters: Boston and New York. The Orioles also have the means to be a budget powerhouse, with the right kind of player moves, and they intend to spend a lot of money in this offseason.

“Over 162 games, the disparity manifests itself. A perfect storm of injury-free pitching and player development would have to come together for the Jays or Rays to win the division for one season, let alone have a solid run of two or three years at or near the top.”

Basically, what separates the teams is the ability to stock the bench and bullpen with studs while having legitimate players in the farm system to go to when things go terribly wrong.  When Foulke faltered, in stepped John Papelbon.  When Matsui mangled his wrist, up stepped Melky Cabrera.  When Josh Towers tumbled and Russ Adams became an abomination…… in stepped Marcum/Janssen/Taubenheim and Figueroa/Alfonzo/McDonald/Roberts with predictable results. 

Enough is enough. Fickle Toronto fans can only take so much mediocrity (save the leafs) and if the viability of the franchise is to continue, realignment must take place. There has been talk of rotating teams throughout divisions on a yearly basis. I think that is a messy idea. What I propose is a straight up trade. The AL East trades the Toronto Blue Jays to the NL East for the New York Mets. The Mets have the resources to compete with the likes of the Yankees and Boston and what would be better for baseball than the two teams from New York battling each other 15+ times a year? Those inferiority complex ridden Red Sox fans could take solace knowing that a team that could (pay)roll with the Yankees could beat up on them throughout the season while they experience their late season collapse.

  Toronto’s pitching staff was made for the NL and Roy Halladay would be simply dominant, even moreso than he already is. The Jays would have a legitimate shot at the playoffs each year facing teams with similar payrolls and markets as well as reigniting long dormant rivalries with the Braves and Phillies. What about the Tampa Bay Devil Rays you ask? They should move to Montreal. But that is another article for another day….

P.S. A big shout out to my boy Andre Agassi for fighting through crippling back pain to make a go of it in his last ever U.S. Open. He has a studly career and the best hair before it fell out.  He is a class act and entertaining to watch. Pour out a little liquor and holla atcha boy.

Andre Agassi

Written By

has written for Mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Callum on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (@callumhughson)

  • I’m not going to lie to you, I’m sick and tired of all of the excuses about being in the East. The fact of the matter JP is that your in the east, so you
    better deal with it. Also, year after year I hear “If the Jays were in the central they’d be in the playoffs”. BS.

    vs es vs cen vs west

    38-36 15-19 19-17 (2005)
    33-27 14-15 14-15 (2006)

    JP complains all day about the uneven schedule, yet he’s below .500 vs the central and just at .500 against the west. At the end of the day, the Jays have to
    win these games against the “easy” non east teams.

    I also can’t see taking the Mets out of the east. That division would be stuck with Toronto, Washington & Florida. Nothing to write home about.

    After that rant, I do agree that the lack of a farm system is screwing the Jays. JP is all about the college player that’s 2 years away from the majors. He
    As I posted earlier, outside of this year the earliest high school pick was 206th overall in 2002. They need to draft players with higher upsides.

    One thing that most forget about going into next year is AJ is only making $2.5 this year, and will make $12 mill next year, which will up their salary structure.

    Simply, JP’s 3 year plan to reach the playoffs is going to turn into 10 if they don’t get him the FOD.

  • Early

    I agree with K on this one. Tough break. Jays beat NYY and Bos and lose to KC and Cleveland. The long dormant rivalry with the Phils and Braves is barely worth a response. But I will respond anyways – let’s reignite the huge rivalry between the Indians and Marlins because they met in the 97 WS. How about the great Cincy vs Oakland rivalry? The Jays vs Red Sox vs Yanks vs Orioles is the best rival that club has. Think about how much Jays will lose by having Washington and Flordia in Rogers Centre 18 times instead of Yanks and RSox. Jays could have made the playoffs this year with the team they have. Noone counted on Detroit winning 100 games. If the Tigers, Twins, Red Sox, Jays and LA should have been more competitive. However, the “weak” Central division has run away with the WC and leagues best record. Never once since 1995 have the Jays been better than 2nd in any other AL divsion and only once did they have a better record than a NL playoff team (they probably will this year).
    JP should shut up and compete against the teams he had to compete against. If the Tigers were still in the AL East think about how much he would be whining. If Ted Rogers wants a Championship team he should go and buy it. If JP wants one he should develop players and make Money trades with the resources he has got. His $70mil budget is comparable to Tigers, Twins and WSox all other teams they are worse than.

  • You forget though that the Jays have been mediocre the whole way through the mid 90’s up until this point. The Tigers had to endure a 119 or so loss season to get where they are today. Toronto fans/ownership can’t handle that.
    The rivalry comment was tongue in cheek.

  • Don’t quote me by verse, but I believe the White Sox payroll is right about 100M, and Detroit’s was 83M this year. The Twins spend probably quite a bit less, I think in the 60s. It’s probably available at ESPN.com.

    I really think the Yanks-BoSox spending makes being an East team difficult, but proper drafting and personnel moves can make a team competetive. But, as the poster above pointed out, until a third-place East team dominates other division and can’t get above third place in their own, I’m not really going to get too excited.

    I’d be more in favor of a payroll floor and ceiling than any re-alignment. The big problem I have with the divisions is it took away some of the rivalries. I’d like to see the Tigers and Jays play more than six games a year.

    By the way, you guys do a nice job here.

  • I found the link to payrolls at ESPN.com

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/salaries

  • Thanks for the link and the praise. I’ll be doing a write-up on the Blue Jays upcoming salary structure in the coming days. It’s not pretty…

  • Pingback: Twinlab metabolift with ephedra.()

  • 1

    You picked a good topic for this post and you wrote about it well. I have seen a few other sites with similar content but no 1 has done a better job than you on writing about it.