Blue Jays: Timing of Bo Bichette’s return may work out perfectly

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Bo Bichette #66 of the Toronto Blue Jays poses for a portrait during photo day at Dunedin Stadium on February 22, 2019 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Bo Bichette #66 of the Toronto Blue Jays poses for a portrait during photo day at Dunedin Stadium on February 22, 2019 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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After his first couple of rehab games since breaking his hand, Bo Bichette should be back in Triple-A later this week, and his timing it about right.

While the results on the field for the Blue Jays lately have been anything but positive, at least the club has had some good news about one of their top-ranked prospects.

Bo Bichette has returned to the diamond after breaking his hand earlier this season and has already taken part in two rehab games thus far. Assuming there are no setbacks then Bichette should make his way back to Triple-A to join the Buffalo Bisons’ roster later this week according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

The timing of Bichette’s return works well for a number of reasons, especially if the Blue Jays are serious about bringing him up to the big leagues in 2019. With just under seven weeks to go before the July 31st trade deadline, the Blue Jays have time to create roster space while Bichette gets himself fully back into game shape and finds his rhythm again. It’s hard to say when he may get promoted to Toronto, but at the very least they’ll give him a few weeks in Buffalo no matter what.

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Ideally, Bichette would have been able to spend all of this season up until now working on his craft in Triple-A, but unfortunately that broken bone took that opportunity from him. That said, he has plenty of time to gain the experience he needs for the Blue Jays to feel comfortable moving him up another rung of the organizational ladder, especially into the environment of lowered expectations that has become the Rogers Centre these days.

The Blue Jays’ front office will have to create some roster space for Bichette in order to bring him up, and that likely means that at least one of Freddy Galvis or Eric Sogard will be traded this summer, or perhaps they move the latter back to Triple-A because of his two-way contract. More likely, the Blue Jays will almost assuredly shop Galvis over the next seven weeks, and it’s not hard to see there being interested parties in his services.

The 29-year-old is having a down year offensively by his standards, but he still shouldn’t be hard to move because of his solid defence, his ability to move around the infield, and his reasonable salary of four million this year. His contract also includes a club option for 5.5 million in 2020, which carries a buyout of one million, so it’s not cumbersome by means.

There’s also the fact that Bichette’s impending presence should make them motivated sellers this summer, even if they don’t plan on promoting him all that soon. The reality is, Galvis is highly unlikely to be the starting shortstop in Toronto in 2020, and with a record of 23-43 this season they have all the reasons in the world to let the kids play this summer. Doing that and not trading Galvis would stick him on the bench where he’ll probably end up a little frustrated, and it will just result in the Jays likely buying him out this winter anyway. You could keep him around as a mentor, but he’s too young and productive for that, even if he’s having an off year.

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More likely, Bichette returning now will give the Blue Jays a little better than a month to find a decent trade for Galvis to create that space, which should provide the time the young prospect needs to get tuned up and ready for the next challenge of his career.

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