The Toronto Blue Jays have some obvious holes on their roster, however, they will need to strike early and often if they plan on accomplishing their offseason goals.
It is safe to assume the Blue Jays will not be serious players on free agents of Gerrit Cole‘s ilk but there is still plenty of viable candidates on the open market who can make the team better. It may be in the best interest of the brain trust to strike while the iron is hot rather than slow play the market this offseason.
According to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, there are reportedly at least ten teams already showing interest in free-agent hurler Kyle Gibson. The 32-year old could be on the Blue Jays radar in their quest to shore up the rotation. Gibson saw his earned run average creep well over 4.00 last season after a successful 2017 campaign where he posted a 3.62 ERA in 32 starts.
Zack Wheeler is another interesting candidate to keep an eye on this offseason as it is anticipated Wheeler will decline his qualifying offer in the coming days. If the Blue Jays could land Wheeler, he would immediately bump up to the front of their rotation and in all likelihood be their opening day starter.
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The Jays got a head start on the competition pulling off a trade last week to acquire pitcher Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers. Anderson will aid in shoring the rotation depth but Ross Atkins and company are surely not done.
Don’t be surprised if the Jays add bullpen help and an outfielder from the open market as well this offseason. There was a report yesterday that the team could possibly explore moving Lourdes Gurriel Jr. if the right offer presented itself.
The Blue Jays would surely pull the trigger for a front of the rotation arm, however, that would create a further void in their outfield. Aside from Gurriel, the outfield depth chart consists of Randal Grichuk and the inconsistent efforts of Teoscar Hernandez, Billy McKinney, Derek Fisher, and rookie Anthony Alford.
Ross Atkins has his work cut out for him this winter but I would expect him to strike early and often so stay tuned in the coming weeks.