Any good rebuild starts with building up a talented foundation of youth, supplemented with the right veteran presence. The Blue Jays have already have a good start on the latter, and a few candidates who could be worthy of an extension. Who fits the bill?
When we think about the future of the Blue Jays it mostly includes young potential stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and many more. That’s with good reason of course, as the Blue Jays have the #1 prospect in baseball, two of the top 10, and are universally recognized as one of the top five minor league systems across in baseball. If the Blue Jays’ front office plays their cards right, the future should be very bright.
In the mean time they’re going to go through some struggles with a young roster, but fortunately there are a few veterans left over to help guide them through the early part of their careers as big leaguers. Yes, the veteran club has watched leaders like Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, and Marco Estrada leave within the last calendar year, and with the roster rebuild is a new era and a new identity for the franchise.
Caught somewhere in the middle are a few veterans that remain, and some that were the subject of trade rumours this offseason as well. There are guys like Kevin Pillar, Kendrys Morales, or Devon Travis that likely won’t be a part of the next generation of this team, but there are a few veterans that could play themselves into the idea of the rebuild, and beyond the next season of two.
For now, I’ve decided to rank them in order of who I think would be the most obvious extension candidate, assuming that Ross Atkins and company are considering the idea at all. If they are, here’s how I see the order of priority.