Blue Jays: 12 predictions for the upcoming year

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 17: Josh Donaldson
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 17: Josh Donaldson /
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Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 18: Aaron Sanchez /

Josh Donaldson signs a new 5 year contract

Let’s get this one out of the way right off the hop. I know that most people believe that he’ll ultimately end up getting traded, but I have a funny feeling that Josh Donaldson ends up in Toronto long term. I could make a long winded argument for why I think it’s the smart play, but I already did that last week.

I don’t believe we’ll see an extension, but rather Donaldson will test the free agent market and ultimately return to Toronto on a five year deal. It’s widely believed that he’ll get an AAV of 25-30 million, so I’m going to predict 5 years, 137.5 million. It’s a lot of money to shell out, but compared to what Bryce Harper and Manny Machado could receive on the open market, he could ultimately end up as a “bargain” (insert respectful eye roll).

Aaron Sanchez rebounds, sticks as a starter

The “Sanchize” was supposed to contend for the AL Cy Young award in 2017, but instead spent all but eight starts sitting on the disabled list. He couldn’t get over the fingernail/blister/tendon issues that plagued him throughout the entire season, and ultimately was shut down in hopes that extended rest and a fresh slate would do him a lot of good.

I’m not predicting 200 innings for Aaron Sanchez by any means, but I have faith that he’ll make 25 starts and throw 150+ innings. I would also expect the club to put the kid gloves back on in terms of how they treat him this season, especially in the first half, but that should be perceived as a good thing until he’s proven he’s passed the issue.