Blue Jays FA Game: How Would You Spend $35 million?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: Zack Wheeler #45 and Glenn Sherlock #53 of the New York Mets celebrate a single by Wheeler in the seventh inning of their game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 26, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough in New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26: Zack Wheeler #45 and Glenn Sherlock #53 of the New York Mets celebrate a single by Wheeler in the seventh inning of their game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 26, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough in New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

MLBTR has recently published its list of expected 2019-20 free agent contracts.  Which ones should the Jays target?

Most fans would agree that the Jays need to start spending in the 2019-20 offseason if they home to compete in 2021.  And most would agree that the areas of priority are pitching (both starting and the bullpen), the outfield, and 1B/DH.  But there is considerable discussion about the specifics.

Should the Jays be targeting one elite pitcher, or would two second-tier pitchers add more value?  Should they give the internal options in the outfield one more year – possibly moving Randall Grichuk to centre – or should they be actively pursuing an external upgrade?  Should they be targeting proven MLB talent, or would a gamble on a Yoshitomo Tsutsugo or Shogo Akiyama make sense?

Care to play a game?

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

MLBTR recently published its list of top free agents, indicating both their expected destination and their expected contract.  Suppose we assume (for the sake of this game!) that the Jays could have their pick of these free agents at the AAV (average annual value) shown by MLBTR.

But further suppose that the total FA budget was (an admittedly arbitrary) $35 million (I am notionally thinking that the Jays have $42m to spend, but they have to overpay by 20% to get each FA, but using the MLBTR AAVs and $35m takes you to the same place), and the Jays FO could not spend more.

How would you spend?  Would you target one or two upper-level FAs, or spread the money around?  Are there players that you feel are underpriced, or overpriced? Would you even spend the full $35m?

For the purposes of this (clearly simplistic) exercise, assume that the other terms of the deal were not an issue (years, opt-outs, options, no-trade clauses, etc) and that your decision was based solely on AAV.   But all other “real world” factors are relevant – such as the player’s injury record, their age, and the existing Jays roster (yes, Anthony Rendon would look good in Jays blue, but *you* be the one to tell Vladdy).

Here are the AAV figures.  Gentlemen (and ladies), start your cheque books! (note that I have only included the top 25 or so of the MLBTR top 50 – feel free to go to their article and add in any others of their top free agents, at their predicted AAV)

Gerrit Cole – $32m AAV

Anthony Rendon – $34m

Steven Strasburg – $30m

Zack Wheeler – $20m

Josh Donaldson – $25m

Madison Bumgarner – $18m

Yasmani Grandal – $17m

Nicholas Castellanos – $15m

Hyun-Jin Ryu – $18m

Jake Odorizzi – $17m

Marcell Ozuna – $15m

Didi Gregorius – $14m

Will Smith – $14m

Dallas Keuchel – $13m

Cole Hamels – $15m

Jose Abreu – $14m

Michael Pineda – $11m

Mike Moustakas – $10m

Kyle Gibson – $9m

Tanner Roark – $9m

Julio Teheran – $9m

Will Harris – $9m

Drew Pomeranz – $8m

Wade Miley – $8m

Corey Dickerson – $8m

Edwin Encarnacion – $8m

Shogo Akiyama – $3m

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo – $5m

Blue Jays: Managerial window closing on John Gibbons. dark. Next

My spend

I would spend $32m on Gerrit Cole + $3m on Akiyama if I had $35m to spend.  If we introduce a touch of sanity (grin) and say that I can not have Cole or Rendon or Strasburg, I would spend $20m on Wheeler + $15m on Castellanos IF he would agree to move to first base.

facebooktwitterreddit