Blue Jays: Predictions as Free Agency opens
The more the dialogue around the 2018 team continues, the more I’m convinced that the front office will make the middle infield a priority this offseason. In the article I wrote last month (sorry to keep bringing it up), I predicted the team would stick with Ryan Goins whether we like it or not, but a lot has changed for me since then.
We learned that Devon Travis is an injury prone player, something that we already knew, but now even John Gibbons and the medical staff have confirmed that he’ll be hard pressed to ever play a full season. I don’t believe the club will give up on him yet, nor should they, but I do think they’ll bring in suitable insurance, and it’ll be someone who can cover for both Travis and his keystone partner, the oft-injured Troy Tulowitzki.
MLBtraderumors.com has the Blue Jays grabbing Eduardo Nunez on a two year contract, and I really like that solution. However, I also believe the Red Sox will be inclined to keep him around, especially with doubts about Dustin Pedroia‘s failing body. For that reason, I think the Blue Jays turn to the trade market in this area, and to a familiar trade partner in the Oakland A’s.
The A’s recently exercised their 2018 contract option on Jed Lowrie, who will make six million in 2018, and had a solid season in Oakland while playing multiple positions. He makes sense for a number of reasons in Toronto, including a reasonable contract cost, multi-position ability, and short term commitment. The Blue Jays are likely hoping that Lourdes Gurriel can ultimately fill the “super-utility” role, so a short term solution may make the most sense for Toronto.
It’s really hard to say what the A’s may want in return for Lowrie, but it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if they shopped him this offseason, especially because they’re not expected to contend in 2018, and have young talent like former Blue Jays prospect Franklin Barreto ready for a full-time shot.