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Hold off on Blue Jays High Expectations

The Toronto Blue Jays are the team that has made the most noise so far in the baseball offseason. They pulled off the blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins that brought star shortstop Jose Reyes to Toronto along with proven starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. The Blue Jays recently brought in N.L. Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets in another steal of a trade earlier this month.

Although the Blue Jays have been one of the more active teams this offseason, it must be remembered what division they play in, the tough A.L. East. The A.L. East is so tough because of the relentless spending of money by the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who are expected to be competitive every year.  For this upcoming season, the Blue Jays will also have to worry about the Baltimore Orioles who had a surprisingly good season last year and of course the Tampa Bay Rays who have their own star power as well.

Toronto Blue Jays
The Miami Marlins are a perfect example of a team getting praise and hit with lofty expectations before the season started based off just their offseason moves. The Marlins were picked by many to make the playoffs and maybe even prove to be a contender, doing that same thing right now to the Blue Jays could result as another error in judgment.

The Blue Jays going into the season are going to dump a lot of pressure on Jose Bautista who only played in 92 games last season due to a wrist injury. The problem with needing Bautista to hit another 40 home runs and 100 RBI’s like he did in 2010 and 2011, is that he suffered a wrist injury after those impressive seasons, and is now 32 years old. If the Blue Jays aren’t going to get those power numbers out of Bautista, that means first basemen Edwin Encarnacion will have to duplicate his numbers from last year that totaled 42 home runs and 110 RBI’s in his best season in eight years in the majors, which would be another high expectation to hold.

While I applaud the Blue Jays’ effort in trying to win games now and put everything on the line. They simply play in too tough of a division to go all in and not bring in a reliable big time star like Josh Hamilton. The additions of Reyes and Melky Cabrera were smart and will definitely make their lineup more threatening, but if Bautista is unable to return to his Silver Slugger form of 10’ and 11’ this team could be in for a season similar to the Miami Marlins last year.