The Blue Jays recorded a 32-28 season and reached the postseason with a very young core. This offseason lines up well for Toronto to be aggressive in that pursuit.
The talent of the Blue Jays’ young identity gives the club a great deal of financial flexibility, with few veteran players on large, multiyear deals. Further development of the young players should occur in 2021.
The good news for the Blue Jays entering this offseason is that their needs are clear. This won’t be a guessing game. Pitching and defense have been identified as the top priorities after the Blue Jays allowed the second-most walks in baseball last season (250) and routinely made fundamental errors in the field.
Last year the Blue Jays made a splash by signing Hyun Jin Ryu in the offseason. Will they look to do the same this year by signing Trevor Bauer? The Jays also brought back Robbie Ray on a 1 year $8 million dollar contract early on in free agency. This fills one rotation sport but the Jays would love to add another starter to allow Nate Pearson, the organization’s number 1 prospect time to develop.
Depth jobs are filled with a crowd of young arms of Anthony Kay, Thomas Hatch, Julian Merryweather and Trent Thorton.
Travis Shaw was the primary option in 2020, but he only hit .239 and had an OPS of .717. Bringing back Vladimir Guerroro Jr. may be tempting but is not the right answer. Top prospects may be the eventual answer, but a one to two year veteran might be the biggest opportunity to upgrade the offense.
Blue Jays Bullpen
The Jays have done very well in recent years shopping at the bottom end of the relief market, whether that be on one-year deals or Minor League signings. The Jays do not target “roles”. Last season Charlie Montoyo used a rotation to close games as Ken Giles was out due to Tommy John surgery. Giles is now a free agent.
The Blue Jays will target upside and let the roles sort themselves out. The Blue Jays might not invest a great deal of their payroll on bullpen arms this offseason, but there should still be a good number of additions between now and February.
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