Blue Jays: 12 predictions for the upcoming year

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 17: Josh Donaldson
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 17: Josh Donaldson /
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ST. PETERSBURG, FL – APRIL 6: Manager John Gibbons
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – APRIL 6: Manager John Gibbons /

Blue Jays hire a new manager after the 2018 season

As I said earlier in the article, I do believe that the Blue Jays will be in the playoff race in 2018, and John Gibbons‘ leadership will play a big part in any success they have. However, I’m guessing this will be his final year in the dugout as the Blue Jays’ skipper.

By all accounts, Gibbons has a strong relationship with Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins, but I still think they’ll go in a different direction after this season, especially as the roster continues to shift away from the Alex Anthopoulos fingerprint. The Blue Jays will continue to look to get younger, and with that change will search for a new voice to guide the next generation.

For what it’s worth, I’m a fan of the laid back Texan, and wouldn’t mind at all if he stayed for many more years. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen.

Estrada moves on, Happ is extended

The Blue Jays brought Marco Estrada back on a one year deal for 2018 and will hope that he can be more like the 2015-16 version. I think he’ll have a much better season than he did last year, but I don’t know that it will translate into another extension for the change-up artist.

They’ll have to allocate money on other areas (like Donaldson!), so I don’t think they’ll be able to afford to bring back both Estrada and J.A. Happ, who will also be a free agent at season’s end. I do think they’ll try to retain Happ though, as he’s been quietly fantastic in his second go around in a Blue Jays uniform.

Biagini becomes a reliever for good

While I think it’s worthwhile to give Joe Biagini another look in the rotation next year, I don’t believe he’ll ultimately stick as a starter. Hopefully the Blue Jays can acquire enough depth that he can begin the season in Triple A as a starter, and continue to build on the skillset required for the job.

He’s already proven he can be an effective reliever, and I expect that he’ll end up back in the role that he flourished in during the 2016 season. Joining a stable including Roberto Osuna, Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes, Dominic Leone, and Carlos Ramirez, the Blue Jays have one of the more coveted bullpens in the game because of the talent, as well as the cost and contract control.