Other positions have their arguments too but most are cut and dried in my opinion. But I'm sure others can come up with good arguments.
- 3B: Josh Donaldson laps the field at 3B with his 2 7 WAR seasons - honorable mention to Kelly Gruber who cracked 5 twice, and 4's for Brett Lawrie, Eric Hinske, and Troy Glaus.
- LF is George Bell (5.0 and an MVP in 1987), Shannon Stewart (5.0 in 2000), Joe Carter (4.7 in 1991) as no others cracked 4 WAR surprisingly.
- CF has a ton of talent but Moseby has to take it imo: Lloyd Moseby (7.3 in 1984), Vernon Wells 2006 6.2 bWAR at age 27 (leading to that insane contract), Devon White (6.3 twice 1991,1993 - reminder of White's amazing defense especially at the 5 minute mark), Kevin Pillar (5.2 in 2015), Colby Rasmus (5.0 in 2013)
- RF is Jose Bautista 2011 8.3, but Jesse Barfield's 7.6 in 1986 is damn sweet (his arm was amazing, plus he had 40 HR to lead that year). Shawn Green 's 6.4 in 1999 isn't anything to sneeze at, nor Alex Rios' 5.9 in 2008. But this is Bautista's position.
- Catcher has been weaker but 4 times someone got to 3 WAR - Greg Zaun in 2005, Pat Borders 1990 and old fan favorite (and Team Canada manager) Ernie Whitt in 1983. I'd give it to Martin thanks to reaching the playoffs in his big year but can see a case for each of the others.
Catcher is by far the weakest position in Jays history - hard to believe we've never seen anyone reach 4 WAR there while every other position has multiple guys at 5+. 1B/CF/RF are amazing for having multiple 'wow' seasons by multiple players with 1B easily the deepest in Jays history.
- Early days (pre 1983 - 1): Damaso Garcia 1982 is the only contender
- First competitive wave (1983-1993 - 13): George Bell 1987, Jesse Barfield 1986, Pat Borders 1990, Ernie Whitt 1983, Kelly Gruber, Tony Fernandez 1987, Roberto Alomar 1992, Willie Upshaw 1983, Fred McGriff 1989, John Olerud 1993, Joe Carter 1991, Devon White 1991/1993, Ernie Whitt 1983
- Dark years (1994-2009 aka Ash/JPR years - 9): Carlos Delgado 2000, Aaron Hill 2009, Orlando Hudson 2004, Marco Scutaro 2009, Shannon Stewart 2000, Shawn Green 1999, Alex Rios 2008, Greg Zaun 2005, Vernon Wells 2006
- Wave 2 competition (AA years/early Atkins 2011-2018 - 6): Jose Bautista 2011, Edwin Encarnacion 2012, Yunel Escobar 2011, Josh Donaldson 2015/16, Kevin Pillar 2015, Colby Rasmus 2013
- Current Competitive wave 3 (Atkins - 3 so far): Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2021, Marcus Semien 2021, Bo Bichette 2021
Pitchers are a whole other category, but my quick take on a rotation that would be impossible to beat: Roger Clemens
1997 (pitchers triple crown, Cy, 11.9 bWAR), Roy Halladay
2003 (8.1 WAR, 22 W, 32-204 BB-SO, just a great year in a great career), Dave Stieb
1984 (146 ERA+ to lead, 7.9 WAR, but 7th in Cy voting no one else who got votes had more than 5.2 WAR), Pat Hentgen
1996 (Cy, led in IP, CG 8.6 WAR), Juan Guzman
1996 (6.7 WAR, ERA title with a 171 ERA+ but 0 Cy votes), Jimmy Key
1987 (7.4 WAR, led with 164 ERA+ but 2nd in Cy voting), Robbie Ray
2021 was 6.7 WAR Cy award. OK, that was 7 guys, but who do you bench from that group? PS: Clemens was supposed to have started PEDs in '98
when he won his 2nd Cy as a Jay.
Relievers more of a crapshoot: Mark Eichhorn
1986 (7.3 WAR, 157 IP with a 246 ERA+) clearly had the best year imo, B.J. Ryan
2006 (3.6 WAR, 38-4 Sv-Bl, 335 ERA+ over 72 1/3 IP), Duane Ward
1993 (3.0 WAR, 45-6 Sv-Bl over 71 2/3 IP plus great in playoffs/WS), Tom Henke
1987 (0-6 but led in saves with 34-8 Sv-Bl, 182 ERA+ over 94 IP, plus 3 IP in All-Star Game, 2.4 BB/9 vs 12.3 K/9 - an unheard of thing at that time), , Jordan Romano
2021 (2.3 WAR, 23-1 Sv-Bl hard to complain about that ratio, his blown was his first save opportunity of the year). Very hard to pick as ERA is so insanely variable for relievers thus making WAR very hard to use. Saves are an opportunity thing more than a skill imo. Put whoever you cut from that killer rotation to the pen to make it impossible good.
So opinions? Feelings? Did I miss someone? Let's get some good debates going. Mix in stuff like 'leadership', 'fan favorite', etc. if you want. Old stories of favorite players would be good in this thread. Just going through some of these names brought back good memories (like Gruber's fog home run and his cycle where he turned a double into a single).