Blue Jays: Who is competing to make the team this spring?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 23: Teoscar Hernandez
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 23: Teoscar Hernandez /
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TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 13: Ezequiel Carrera
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 13: Ezequiel Carrera /

The Outfield

As mentioned on the last page, the Blue Jays addressed their outfield needs by signing Curtis Granderson to a one year, five million dollar deal, and by trading for Randal Grichuk. The latter is expectedt to be an everyday starter in right field, while Granderson will likely platoon with Steve Pearce in left. Add Kevin Pillar in centre field, and you’ve pretty much got the picture of who will be on the field.

The biggest question in the outfield mix is whether or not the Blue Jays will find a way to keep Ezequiel Carrera around, who has been with the team for the last three seasons. While he’s been an underrated performer in the past, he’s likely at least a bit redundant now. He’s not terribly gifted defensively either, so after the additions of Grichuk and Granderson, his fit with the team going forward is a serious question.

That said, he’s been a favourite of John Gibbons for awhile now, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they found a way to keep him around, at least to start the season. His playing time will be pretty limited either way, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him traded to another team with an outfield need either.

There’s also the group consisting of talented youngsters like Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey and more. Hernandez in particular looks like he’s ready to make the jump to the highest level, but he’ll likely have to wait until the injury bug bites one of the veterans in order to get a shot. His performance in September was certainly encouraging though, and it’s nice to have someone like him available if injury does strike. Alford could probably use a little more seasoning before being fully ready for the big leagues, and Pompey will need to prove he can stay healthy and that he still has the promise he showed a few years back.

Chances are we’ll see an outfield mix of Pillar, Grichuk, Granderson, Pearce, and maybe Carrera to start the 2018 season, but don’t be surprised if there are little tweaks made either before the season, or some time during the campaign.