Blue Jays fishing in the free agent deep end so far
The Blue Jays haven’t done much yet this offseason, however the free agents they’ve been linked so far have been among the biggest names on the market.
Another day has gone by without much movement on the free agent hot stove, and I think I speak for most baseball fans when I say that it would be great if things got rolling…. any time now.
For the Blue Jays, they’ve added Gift Ngoepe through a small trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but otherwise they’ve been waiting for the market to develop along with the other 29 teams across baseball. There’s a good chance that once Shohei Ohtani signs somewhere, and perhaps Giancarlo Stanton is traded, that things could happen in a hurry.
As far as the Blue Jays are concerned, the rumour mill has been relatively quiet. They were linked to Robbie Ross early on, who missed all but nine innings of 2017 with injury. The Jay Bruce to Toronto rumours fired up early as well, but there hasn’t been much on that front lately.
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No, lately it’s been a different kind of rumour that the Blue Jays have been attached to, and it’s not the kind we’re used to. The Blue Jays are typically linked to the “B” or “C” level free agents, always perceived as looking for a bit of a bargain in the market, and never being real players for the best of the best that are available to the highest bidder. It’s been a sore spot for many Blue Jays’ fans for many years, especially given how big the market is, and how much the ownership could theoretically afford to dish out.
It remains to be seen if there’s any serious chatting going on, but here are the stories lately when it comes to free agents:
- The Blue Jays have checked on Jake Arrieta according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- The Blue Jays could be a dark horse for J.D. Martinez, according to Jon Heyman of Fanragsports.com
- The Blue Jays plan to make a very serious to pitch to Shohei Ohtani and his representatives, although this one is a bargain for whomever lands him.
Martinez likely represents the top hitter on the market, and is a good bet to land the biggest free agent contract this winter. As far as pitchers go, Arrieta will likely finish behind only Yu Darvish when it comes to a free agent pay day, Ohtani is likely the most coveted available player, not only for his potential two-way talent, but also because he’ll have to sign a minor league contract to play in 2018, and it’ll cost the acquiring franchise just a 20 million dollar posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters.
I know these are only rumours, and could simply be a case of Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro surveying the market, but I like hearing that they’re not completely ruling out making that type of acquisition. It’s probably still highly unlikely, but you never know what other juggling with the roster could be done, and what kind of plans this front office has to tinker with the roster. The fans gave them over three million reasons to try and field a winner, and I believe them when they say they are trying to do just that.
They have talked an awful lot about making an “impact addition”, and the term ‘impact’ could be interpreted in many different ways. Perhaps this front office is taking the term more literally than we could have expected. Until we see the market start to shape up, it’s hard to rule anything out at this point, even if it’s probably just the front office doing their due diligence.