Blue Jays will strike early and often in free agency

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 1: Brett Anderson
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 1: Brett Anderson /

MLB players were officially eligible to become free agents yesterday as the five-day soft window for teams to engage players officially begun however teams are not permitted to ink any free agents until this coming Monday at 5 pm eastern.

Expect the Toronto Blue Jays to strike early and often as General Manager Ross Atkins attempts to make amends for not meeting his offseason expectations last time around in 2016. Atkins has publicly stated for the past two seasons his goal was to become faster and more athletic. The team’s performance in 2017 magnified the need for those goals to be met this time around.

The Jays offseason wish list includes a second baseman, an outfielder, back of the rotation starter and a backup catcher. Atkins has gone on record he plans on adding an impact position player and impact pitcher this offseason through trade or free agency signing.

Last season when it was clear Edwin Encarnacion was content on testing the free agent waters, the Blue Jays brain trust signed his replacement Kendys Morales very early into the free agent season on November 18th. They also paid a premium in the term for the designated hitter as the market did not develop as everyone had anticipated last offseason.

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Yesterday the likes of Brett Anderson, Darwin Barney, Miguel Montero all became free agents as well as Jose Bautista once the team officially declines the mutual option for the slugger.

MLB Trade Rumors officially launched their Top 50 Free Agent destinations and they prognosticated Jay Bruce, Eduardo Nunez, and Tony Watson all signing deals to play north of the border. All three predictions make sense and would better the squad in 2018.

Don’t expect Atkins to wait for the market to develop and overplay his hand, I fully expect him to dive into free agency, get what he wants early on and get out before anyone else can target or muddy the waters on his offseason plans.

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Regardless, the postseason may have come to an end but the hot stove season is just heating up. Let the speculation and rumor-mongering begin.