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Blue Jays fans should enjoy the process

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TSN Baseball Insider


The Blue Jays are 25-25 since June 19, including an 11-6 record in their last 17 games. A .500 record isn’t a great accomplishment, but it’s a pretty good run for a rebuilding club that is 51-73 on the season.

Rebuilding teams worry less about wins and more about developing players and getting answers about who is part of the solution for the long term. Sure, wins are nice, but they are less of a priority than the growth of young players. At some point that will change and winning will become the absolute mission.

For now, fans can cheer when a hitter grounds into a double play, like they did last week when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. battled Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in a 13-pitch at-bat in the ninth inning of a loss.

There are moral victories during a rebuilding process. It’s okay to be excited about Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio slugging doubles and turning double plays, even in losses. It shows an acceptance by the fan base about the rebuild and a level of excitement and hope about the future. Fans know they are watching the start of something special.

There will come a point when it’s appropriate to expect more from the players, but that time isn’t now. There are still tough times ahead. There will be streaks where the Jays lose 15 of 20. They just don’t have the kind of pitching depth yet to sustain a high level of success. Young players can be very streaky. Just enjoy the process and surrender the outcome.

The pursuit of pitching is the priority for the Jays’ front office now. Ross Atkins and his staff will look to find arms wherever they can: draft, trades, waiver claims, free agency, international free agents, etc.

While they pursue pitchers, they need to keep the flow of talent of all types coming through the organization. In recent years we have seen Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Zach Greinke, Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer traded. It is a fallacy to think that aces can’t be acquired. It will be critical for the Jays to be positioned properly when that next guy becomes available.

Now that there is only one trade deadline (on July 31), teams have nowhere to go over the last 60 days of the season to find talent other than sifting through castoffs on release or outright waivers. It’s like running in a marathon only to realize that there is no one handing out water over the last eight miles of the race.

We’ve seen teams just releasing players or placing them on irrevocable outright waivers in August, effectively giving them away for an inconsequential waiver claim fee.

For example, Freddy Galvis was placed on outright waivers by the Jays and claimed by the Cincinnati Reds this week. The Reds became responsible for the remaining $1 million-plus of salary and the $1 million buyout for........