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Blue Jays Transitioning Into Contenders By Gregor Chisholm

2 posts in this topic

The Blue Jays went through another year of transition in 2011, but it was the type of change that proved the organization's rebuilding plan may be nearing a completion.

Toronto began the year with stopgap veterans like Juan Rivera, Corey Patterson, Jayson Nix and Jon Rauch on its 25-man roster. One by one, they were replaced with an influx of promising young players that will help form a core of talent within the organization for years to come.

The on-field results were about the same as they have been in recent years, as the Blue Jays once again finished a distant fourth place in the competitive American League East. But for the first time in years, there is a sense that success might be just around the corner.

A large component of that stems from the work general manager Alex Anthopoulos has done with the club's Minor League system. The rebuilding plan began in earnest following the 2009 season, and fans got a firsthand look at the fruits of the club's labour this year.

The emergence of J.P. Arencibia and Henderson Alvarez can be found near the top of that list, while the acquisition of Colby Rasmus gave the club a potential rising star with five-tool talent.

But of all the storylines that played out over the past 12 months, here were the five biggest.

You can read the rest of the article right here: http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111219&content_id=26195018&vkey=news_tor&c_id=tor

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This team is all based on "what-ifs". They can stockpile all the young players that they want, but without surrounding them with some veteran talent, they will go no where.

They can say that they are transitioning into a contender, but when they are in a division with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, they need to do more than cultivate young talent. Break the bank for a Prince Fielder...trade for a starting pitcher...Santos has been our biggest off season signing,,,that's sad. Alex has done nothing to impress me this off season, and I am getting sick of reading about all the potential deals and trades that the Jays were in, only to lose out.

It's all smoke and mirrors up to this point.

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