Regardless of how the Aroldis Chapman affair plays out, Blue Jay fans are already winners. As has been repeated ad nauseam, the fact the Jays are willing to stick their collective noses in on a coveted free agent such as Chapman is telling.
Telling in that it shows that Anthopoulos has Beeston's - and therefore Rogers' - full confidence to transform the club as per his vision. Telling in that the owners, who have been slagged numerous times by numerous sources (present company included) for not spending, are willing to commit financially to make it happen. And telling in that the Anthopoulos-led Jays are not willing to simply concede defeat to the "big boys" when it comes to pursuing players who fit the vision.
You know what else this last week (or so) has done? It's given us something to dream on. Dunno about you folks, but I've been working through future rotation scenarios in my mind's eye - Marcum/Morrow/Chapman/Cecil/Romero? But then what of young Kyle Drabek, seen as the key cog to the Halladay deal? Or how about blogger favorite Rzepczynski? Last year's first rounder Chad Jenkins? And what if McGowan can get past his shoulder problem? That's a lot of talent - unproven as it may be - from which to piece together a rotation. In fact, ignoring the Chapman dream, it's clear to see the Jays are commodity rich in the major league arms race. Which leads to this thought....
Does it not seem inevitable that AA has another trick up his sleeve? What's the one area in the Toronto system (in the post-Halladay era) that Anthopoulos himself has mentioned as being coveted by other teams? The Jays young pitching. Where is the team's surplus? Young pitching. Where are the Jays needs as we build towards contention? Just about everywhere but young pitching (and the outfield, 1B, and 2B...but you see where I'm going with this). In other words - especially if the Jays land Chapman - maybe hold off on ordering up that custom Romero/Cecil/Rzepczynski jersey for a few weeks.
One more thought on what the pursuit of Chapman might mean, if you tend to read into things like I do (I pray to all that's holy that you don't): it signals a re-entrance into the Latin American market for players that made the Jays a model franchise in the halcyon days of the club. George Bell, Carlos Delgado, Tony Fernandez, Alfredo Griffin, Damaso Garcia, Manny Lee....hell, I'll even throw a Nelly Liriano at you. The Jays would be wise to re-emerge as a favored destination for their countrymen. More dreams, I guess.
A note on the Zach Jackson acquisition
To the critics: simmer the fuck down. It was borderline shocking to read the caustic and sarcastic comments throughout the blogosphere comment sections regarding this move for Toronto.
In case you haven't been paying attention, the Jays have "lost" the immortal Brians Burres and Bullington, along with Fabio Castro and whomeverthefuck else this offseason. That's a lot of Vegas innings to fill. And not every player on the minor league roster is destined to be a star. They're called organizational players, and every team has them.
Yes, even the Yankees (Josh Towers, anyone?).
Chapman signs with an NL team? Good thing I was stressing the "journey, not the destination" angle...