Toronto Blue Jays All-Decade Team

Toronto Blue Jays
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 14: A view of the fortieth season logo on the center field wall before the start of the Toronto Blue Jays MLB game against the Houston Astros on August 14, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Toronto Blue Jays All-Decade Team

This decade was a trying one for the Toronto Blue Jays. After four managers, two general managers, and a new president, the Blue Jays have ended this decade looking to the future. They got back to the postseason for the first time since 1993, leading to a memorable moment over a new rival. The Blue Jays retired their first two numbers in honor of Roberto Alomar and Roy Halladay, who both were inducted into the Hall of Fame this decade.

Numerous players played for the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2010s. Some went on to win the World Series like Daniel Hudson or Steve Pearce. Others went on to finish their careers in Toronto like Ricky Romero. Through the difficult years, the fans have been loyal to their team. As this baseball season comes to an end, here is the Toronto Blue Jays All-Decade team. The All-Decade team is composed of the 25 best individual seasons by a player of the Blue Jays. Players may only be on the list once.

Starting Pitchers

Marcus Stroman (2017)

The Stro Show played parts of six seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays. The exciting young kid from Duke showed the fans that height doesn’t measure heart. Looking at all of Marcus Stroman’s seasons his best was the 2017 season. As Stroman went 13-9 with 201 IP, a 3.09 ERA and 164 strikeouts. This was the year Stroman won a Gold Glove and finished eighth in the American League Cy Young Vote. The Blue Jays traded Stroman to the New York Mets in 2019.

Aaron Sanchez (2016)

If the 2015 season showcased the Blue Jays offense, then the 2016 season showed their strength in pitching. Aaron Sanchez led the way with a 15-2 record with 192 IP, 3.00 ERA, and 161 strikeouts. This would be Sanchez’s only year as an All-Star and he finished 7th in the American League Cy Young Vote. Aaron Sanchez was traded to the Houston Astros during the 2019 trade deadline.

Ricky Romero (2011)

Following the departure of Roy Halladay after the 2009 season, Ricky Romero was tasked to become the Toronto Blue Jays next ace. The 2011 season showcased Romero’s best with a 15-11 record, 225 IP, a 2.92 ERA and 178 strikeouts. This was Romero’s only all-star season in his five years with the Blue Jays. Without Romero, the Blue Jays would have done worse than 81-81 that season. Romero last played for the Blue Jays in 2013; he retired in the San Francisco Giants organization in 2017.

Relief Pitchers

Darren Oliver (2012)

Darren Oliver played for 20 seasons in Major League Baseball, his final two were in Toronto. At the age of forty-one, Oliver had arguably one of the best seasons for a Blue Jays reliever. During the 2012 season, Oliver pitched in 56.2 innings producing an ERA of 2.06. allowing just 13 earned runs in 62 games. Arguments can be made that the 2012 season may be the best season of his career. The 2013 season would be Oliver’s last season as he finished his career as a member of the Blue Jays.

Casey Janssen (2011)

Having played in eight seasons with the Blue Jays, Casey Janssen’s 2011 season in Toronto was arguably his best. In 55 games Jansen pitched 55.2 innings with a 1.096 WHIP and an ERA of 2.26. As a result, the 2011 season showed that Jansen was the Blue Jays best reliever. Following the 2011 season, Jansen became the Blue Jays closer for the next three seasons. Jansen left the Blue Jays after the 2014 season, playing his last season in the majors with the Washington Nationals.

Catcher

Russell Martin (2015)

In his first year with the Blue Jays, Russell Martin became a fan favorite. Having been born in Toronto, the Canadian catcher became an instant fan favorite. Martin was signed to be a clubhouse leader and in 2015 he led the team on the field. In 129 games Martin hit .240/.329/.458 with 23 Home Runs and 77 RBIs. In the process, Martin became an All-Star in 2015 leading the Blue Jays to back to back American League Championship Series appearances. Martin played four years in Toronto before getting traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2018 season.

First Base

Justin Smoak (2017)

In an off-year for the Toronto Blue Jays, Justin Smoak had a great season. In his third season in Toronto; Smoak played in 158 games hitting .270/.355/.529, with 38 Home Runs and 90 RBIs. Smoak also played in his only All-Star Game in 2017, starting for the American League at first base. After five seasons with the Blue Jays, the thirty-two-year-old is a free agent. After becoming a fan favorite in 2017, Blue Jays fans hope that Justin Smoak will resign the Blue Jays.

Second Base

Devon Travis (2016)

This position was a weak spot for the Toronto Blue Jays. As the future looks bright at second base, the past showed the importance of a solid middle infielder. As division rivals had power-hitting second basemen, the Blue Jays focused this role to one who is great defensively. In his second season with the Blue Jays, Devon Travis hit .300/.332/.454 in 101 games. In the process, Travis hit 11 Home Runs and 50 RBIs. After missing the entire 2019 season in Toronto Devon Travis was released by the Blue Jays.

Third Base

Josh Donaldson (2015)

In his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays, the “Bringer of Rain” did not disappoint. During the 2015 season, Donaldson hit .297/.371/.568 with 41 Home Runs and 123 RBIs. As a result, Josh Donaldson became the second Toronto Blue Jay to win the American League Most Valuable Player award, and the first one to do it since 1987. Donaldson also won two Silver Slugger Awards with the Blue Jays in 2015 and 2016. Josh Donaldson made his second All-Star appearance in 2015 and even partaking in the 2015 Home Run Derby. Donaldson would play four seasons with the Blue Jays until he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 2018.

Short Stop

Bo Bichette (2019)

Similar to second base, few Toronto Blue Jays shortstops made an impact both offensively and defensively. As such, only two candidates truly stand out; Troy Tulowitzki and Bo Bichette. Despite playing just 46 games with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019, Bo Bichette becomes the Blue Jays All-Decade Short Stop. In 212 plate appearances, Bichette hit .311/.358/.571 with 11 HR and 21 RBIs. Assuming he played the full season, he would have made this Blue Jays team better. Bo Bichette set the MLB rookie record for most consecutive games hitting a double with nine. Bo represents an exciting future for the Toronto Blue Jays that hopefully will lead this team back to the postseason.

Left Field

Adam Lind (2011)

Adam Lind played nine of his 12 seasons as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. He has been one of their most inconsistent players over the years. Lind had incredible seasons with the Toronto season with his best this decade being in 2011. In 125 games, Lind hit .251/.295/.439 with 26 HR and 87 RBIs. Often the Designated Hitter, Lind also played Left Field and 1st Base. Fun Fact, when the Blue Jays were designing their new logo ahead of the 2012 season, Adam Lind was one of the Blue Jays who were consulted about it.

Center Field

Vernon Wells (2010)

In his final season with the Toronto Blue Jays, Vernon Wells did not disappoint. In 157 games Wells hit .273/.331/.515 with 31 Home Runs and 88 RBIs. Wells earned his third all-star appearance in 2010 alongside fellow outfielder Jose Bautista. During his tenure, Wells remained a staple for the Toronto Blue Jays lineup. He played twelve seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays before being traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2011. Wells ended his 15-year career with the New York Yankees.

Right Field

Jose Bautista (2010)

The 2010 season was a breakout season for Jose Bautista. After failing to make the starting line up on four different teams, he found his true potential in Toronto. In a season where the Blue Jays would hit the most HR in a single season with 254 Home Runs, Jose Bautista hit 54 of them. In 161 games, Bautista hit .260/.378/.617  and drove in 124 runs. During 10 seasons with the Blue Jays, Bautista became a six-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger. In addition to providing the Blue Jays with the Batflip heard around the world, Bautista put the Blue Jays ahead of the Texas Rangers in the 2015 American League Division Series.

Designated Hitter

Edwin Encarnacion (2012)

With eight great seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, it’s hard to pick just one season. In 2012, Edwin hit .280/.384/.557 with 42 Home Runs and 110 RBIs in 151 games. Although this could be Edwin’s best season of his career, he didn’t make the All-Star team. The organization changed the day he signed with the Cleveland Indians on December 23, 2016. After the 2019 season, Edwin Encarnacion became a free agent currently seeking a new team at the age of 37.

Line Up

Bench

Starters

Relievers

Final thoughts

With the 2000’s being an era of mediocrity and uncertainty for the Toronto Blue Jays, it was nice to see this decade have a meaningful direction. In a nation dominated by hockey, baseball got to enjoy a national spotlight for even a brief moment. With the new direction of the team, the future looks bright in Toronto.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.