Blue Jays: What should the goals be for the rest of the season?

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JULY 30: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #13 in the dugout after hitting a grand slam home run during the 9th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 30, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JULY 30: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #13 in the dugout after hitting a grand slam home run during the 9th inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 30, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Build a free agent destination

In order for the Blue Jays to take the eventual step toward being a real contender, they are going to have to dip into the free agent pool. As I’ve mentioned several times, I love the way their lineup is coming together with a homegrown core, but I don’t think they’re going to build a championship calibre rotation overnight, even if I think Nate Pearson and Alek Manoah are both future rotation studs.

One of the important things for this group and front office to consider right now is how they can build the kind of culture that will attract premium free agents. The two easiest ways to do that are by winning, and by offering the most money. As things stand, the Blue Jays are in a position to potentially do both in the next five or so seasons, as they’ll have all kinds of payroll room, and hopefully are on route to building a winner.

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It goes beyond that though, and it will be very important for the Blue Jays to work with this next generation of players to help build their reputation. Fair or not, there have been former Jays like Marcus Stroman, Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, and more, who have criticized the front office, and in some cases, the training staff. One could argue that there is varying validity in the various gripes, but the narrative is far from spotless no matter how you look at it.

Taking care of this next generation of players will be important, and hopefully they can move away from the way they started. Thankfully there was no manipulation of service time for Bichette, or anyone else in the way that many suspected the Jays were doing with Vlad Jr., and hopefully that’s a discussion that’s in the past. That said, it likely wouldn’t hurt if the front office at least brought up the idea of a long-term contract with one or two of their future cornerstones, as has become more common around the game recently. Whatever path they choose, hopefully the Blue Jays will have a realistic shot at signing the guy they want when the time is right.

Next. First base reunion options for 2020. dark

I’m not claiming to be inside the minds of the Blue Jays’ brain trust, but even I can see that there’s plenty of work to be done before the end of the year. No doubt the list is longer and more complicated than what I’ve mentioned here, and hopefully this team can keep moving in the right direction.

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