An ex­cuse to re­build?

Blue Jays’ record slow start could give front of­fice rea­son to trade stars and ‘re­trench’

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - SPORTS - SCOTT STINSON sstin­son@postmedia.com

al­ready started the Don­ald­son trade mus­ings — but this was al­ways go­ing to be a pos­si­bil­ity given the cau­tious ap­proach this group has taken to fol­low­ing the hair-on-fire fi­nal months of the former gen­eral man­ager. When other teams in your divi­sion are spend­ing US$200-mil­lion on a start­ing pitcher one win­ter and then trad­ing their best prospect for an­other start­ing ace the fol­low­ing off­sea­son, your fans can be for­given for doubt­ing if you are quite as in­ter­ested in win­ning in the short term.

Back in Oc­to­ber, when Atkins wasn’t star­ing up from the bot­tom of the stand­ings, he sounded sure that the Blue Jays, th­ese Blue Jays, could still make noise. He con­sid­ered the team they had — play­ers and man­age­ment — and said it was “an in­credi­ble op­por­tu­nity to com­pete against the rest of base­ball.”

Now, we will wait and see if they still feel that way.

TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

Josh Don­ald­son poses be­side man­ager John Gib­bons as he is pre­sented with the Sil­ver Slug­ger Award ear­lier this month in Toronto. Trad­ing Don­ald­son would be the “full-on nu­clear op­tion” if the Blue Jays were to start a re­build.

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