The Blue Jays are currently third in the AL East, but baseball's top executives think they'll finish a few spots higher.
In an MLB.com poll reported on by Mark Feinsand, the Blue Jays were voted the 'best team in the AL East', earning nine of the 23 votes cast.
The poll of two dozen front-office executives was conducted after the first month of the 2022 season and Toronto's nine votes edged out the Yankees (seven) and Rays (seven) for the top team in the division.
Voters lauded Toronto's solid start despite offensive underperformance, with one unnamed American League assistant GM suggesting the Jays will "rally and be the strongest team."
As of Wednesday morning, the Jays sit at 17-14, on pace for 89 wins, and five games back of the division-leading Yankees. While Toronto's status atop the poll speaks to the perceived strength of Toronto's lineup and rotation, another AL assistant GM brought up the border in their reasoning.
“The offense is too much," the executive told Feinsand. "They are fearless and they have an unfair advantage of teams having to come in there undermanned due to having unvaccinated players. Every win counts.”
Blue Jays coaches and execs have continually dismissed the idea of a border advantage. In spring training, team President Mark Shapiro suggested the Canadian COVID restrictions were a disadvantage for the club, impacting offseason trades and potential free agent signings.
The Jays didn't receive a vote for the best team in baseball in MLB.com's poll, as the Dodgers and Mets were the only two franchises earning a vote.