With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror and familiar faces Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez out the door, it’s clear the Toronto Blue Jays are continuing their transition into a new era.

As the team moves forward, general manager Ross Atkins stressed the importance of pitching depth and flexibility to what he hopes is an eventual winning product.

“Our pitching depth is something we couldn’t be more excited about having complemented that at this deadline through the draft and feeling better about that complementing the young position player core,” Atkins said Tuesday on TSN 1050’s OverDrive.

According to MLB Pipeline, five of the team’s top seven prospects are pitchers. Despite the talent within the organization, Atkins said only time will tell how that translates to the major league level.

“And pitching typically takes a little bit longer. So it’s rare to see a 20-year-old just come up and perform on the mound like Bo Bichette is performing on the field. So a lot of it will depend on Kay and Merryweather and Murphy and Pearson and Zeuch and how those guys transition. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to acquire talent to complement Boucki, Reid-Foley, Pannone, Thornton, Waguespack, we absolutely will,” he said.

The team’s record hasn't been much to look at this season, but Toronto has shown flashes of late, winning seven of their last 10 to go along with the resounding arrival of shortstop Bo Bichette and the recent hot-streak of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“Our hope is they continue to pass the torch back and forth and feed off of one another. One week, one month, one year, one of them is a little bit better than the other and they’re pushing one another including our young outfielders, including Cavan Biggio, including our young catching and you can see that happening. They’re pushing one another and they’re pulling for one another which is remarkable in this game, especially as young as they are,” Atkins said.

The GM also said the Jays would be willing to add via the trade or free agent market. But only when the time is right. 

“We have arguably more flexibility any team in baseball ahead of us. We have a system that will provide us talent and a system that, if need be, we can trade away from. We’ll have financial flexibility and we have an incredible process in place. The cohesiveness across our office, in our clubhouse, in our dugout, on the field is very very good. And that translates. That turns into wins.”

As for a timeline for when the Jays could return to being competitors, Atkins compared his team to the trajectory of the Houston Astros before they became World Series champions.

“I think the Houston Astros are a decent example. Where they were in 2014 feels as though where we are now. No one had the Houston Astros going on a run in 2015 and then becoming the team they are today," he said. 

"Believe me, it is something we want so hard and so bad to win. And we want to do it the right way and we want it to be sustainable. And ultimately we feel we’re at a point now where our young position players have transitioned and we have several waves of very talented pitchers coming through our system that we couldn’t be more excited about."