2018 represents a big year for the Blue Jays, and arguably even more important on an individual level for many veteran players.
On one hand, you could argue that what the Blue Jays’ front office has done this offseason has been a little underwhelming. There is a core mostly still in tact that visited the playoffs in 2015 and 2016, and I can understand the argument from some folks that bringing back the bulk of the same roster is foolish if the team wants to win in 2018. As much as guys like Yangervis Solarte, Randal Grichuk, Aledmys Diaz, and Curtis Granderson will help, none of them represent the type of needle moving talent that a Yu Darvish or J.D. Martinez would have.
That said, the roster is chalk full of veterans who have a lot to prove, both to themselves and to the baseball world. Some guys are playing on expiring contracts, while others underperformed in 2017 and will need to prove that they’re more value than they showed last season. Still others will need to prove they can stay healthy for most or all of a MLB season, a task that some find more difficult than others. 2017 was a comedy of errors for the Blue Jays’ roster, and while it’s understandable that this group doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence, there is more upside than most of us are willing to admit.
I’m sure names immediately spring to mind when you read those descriptors, but let’s have a look at the list of Blue Jays veterans who will need to perform in 2018, for one reason or another.