Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leading the way, the Blue Jays have one of the top farm systems in baseball. Now the real test will be to maintain or even improve upon their impressive stock of prospects. (Photo courtesy of @sportingnewsca Twitter)

Going back to August 2016 when the Blue Jays traded Drew Hutchison for Francisco Liriano, Reese McGuire, and Harold Ramirez, that’s when their rebuild really kicked-off.  Ever since they’ve been acquiring prospects left, right, and centre, culminating this past season when they offloaded Josh Donaldson, Curtis Granderson, Steve Pearce, J.A. Happ, Aaron Loup, John Axford, Seunghwan Oh, and Roberto Osuna for another 11 prospects, plus Ken Giles and Brandon Drury.

Chances are the Blue Jays farm system isn’t going to get a whole lot better than it is right now.  Sure they can improve in certain areas (i.e. pitching, outfield), but as far as maintaining the overall quality of the farm will be a steep task.

Adding solid prospects via the draft and international signings is pretty much a given and should happen every year for a ball club that does its homework.  The addition of so many prospects through trades however, like what happened for the Blue Jays this year, just doesn’t happen all too often.  2019 likely won’t see quite as many players shipped out in exchange for prospects, but it’s an approach the Blue Jays will continue to utilize in the foreseeable future.

Even though Toronto traded away the bulk of their veterans this season, there’s still a few experienced players who could be traded for more prospects.  With a backlog of quality infielders, Toronto may look to move Devon Travis, Brandon Drury, or possibly even both of them.  The Blue Jays might even want to explore the possibility of moving one of Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman if they don’t get their act together.

As improved as their farm system has become these past two years, the real test will be to maintain that impressive level of young talent.  Several of their top prospects have already made the jump to the big leagues on a permanent basis, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and many others aren’t too far behind.

Toronto has said all along they’re aiming to build a prolonged winner.  2015 and 2016 were great, but that was a brief two year blip of winning.  How nice would it be to have a team capable of contending year-in-year-out much like Toronto did during much of the 80’s and early 90’s.  The only way of doing that is to build a farm system that continuously churns out big-league level talent.  That was how the Blue Jays were able to win consistently back then, and that’s how they plan on doing it again in the coming years.

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