Aug 1, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Ben Revere (7) in the dugout during batting practice before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Arbitration Eligible in 2016 – Earliest FA: 2018
Ben Revere: The newcomer is the lone Blue Jay whose earliest free agent eligibility comes in 2018, but his two remaining seasons of control following this season are extremely valuable. The outfield depth chart may look different next spring, but even as a fourth outfielder on this roster, Revere’s speed and contact tools make him a 25-man lock.
Arbitration Eligible in 2016 – Earliest FA: 2017
Justin Smoak: The slugging first baseman has one year of team control following this one, and while he’s not a lock for next year’s roster, he’s worth keeping around. Smoak has power potential that plays well in the Rogers Centre, and provides Toronto’s best defensive option at first.
Michael Saunders: I’m growing less and less certain that we’ll see The Condor in a Blue Jays uniform again this season, but look for him to come back at full health after the winter. He’ll be another intriguing piece in a crowded outfield picture, but as this season has shown us, the Jays will take all the depth they can get.
Josh Thole: Thole becomes almost entirely obsolete without Dickey on the roster, so his fate will likely be tied to the decision made on the knuckler’s contract option. Assuming Dickey returns, Thole is worth a depth role in the Minor Leagues just in case injuries strike the catching position at the MLB level.
Brett Cecil: It was supposed to be a breakout season for Cecil as the Jays’ closer, but that crashed and burned. Thankfully, he’s been much stronger since being moved into more of a seventh-inning role, where he profiles much more naturally.
Next: Existing deals and contract options