Tier 1- The future core
As I mentioned in the opening, there are a few core pieces of this team that have already fallen into place. The exciting part is that the Blue Jays have a lot of these rookie-level players that can carry their weight already, and if they continue to develop as it looks like they will, then their lineup will be not only dangerous, but also very cost effective.
Guerrero Jr. and Bichette would be the dynamic duo that would lead this core, but I think there are at least 2-3 other pieces that should be viewed in nearly the same light. I don’t mean in terms of All-Star or maybe even MVP potential, but just in that they can be the type of players to stick in this lineup for the next five or more seasons.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. would fit that description for me, especially now that he’s established himself in left field. His hitting rose to another level after the move to the outfield and the return from Buffalo to get his confidence back, and he’s proven to be a pretty good defensive asset as a corner outfielder as well, showing off a strong throwing arm and keeping baserunners honest. The Blue Jays also have him signed to a bargain contract covering the next four seasons at a total of just 16 million, which also includes an arbitration eligible season in 2024.
I would consider Cavan Biggio in a similar light, even if he’s struggled to produce at the plate lately. While it’s incredibly exciting to see the production from rookies like what Vlad Jr., Bichette, and even Gurriel Jr. have had in the early days of their career, that’s rarely the way things go for a rookie. Biggio has shown a lot of poise and maturity at the plate, defensive versatility, and strong leadership skills. He’s going to be a part of this core going forward, and you can count on improved numbers from him next season.
Lastly I would throw Danny Jansen into the “core five” for me right now, even if he’s got some company with the strong play of Reese McGuire as his catching partner. Jansen has overcome a difficult start to the season at the plate, and has given the Blue Jays above-average production as a hitter. Add that to his strong receiving skills and throwing ability as a catcher, and the rookie should be a part of this team for a long time.