Blue Jays: When can the next Guerrero be signed?

The Blue Jays have one of the more exciting young players in the game in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and there is more talent in his family on the way.

Over the last few years, the Blue Jays have been an example of how talent can be passed along in a bloodline. Last year we saw the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio make their MLB debuts, and all three are the sons of successful former big leaguers, two of them even in the Hall of Fame (Vladimir Guerrero and Craig Biggio).

The fact that this trio has landed in Toronto at the same time is partially because of coincidence, but there are good reasons to pay attention to talented baseball families, and one of the young Blue Jays’ core has a few brothers who could turn into pretty good ball players in due time.

One of those young talents was on display courtesy of Vladimir Guerrero Sr’s Instagram account on Saturday (like courtesy of a tweet from MLB’s Twitter page), when he posted a video featuring the similarity in the “family swing”. In a side by side by side video featuring Vlad Sr., Vlad Jr., and 12-year-old Pablo Guerrero, the resemblance is pretty uncanny.

Could it be possible that another Guerrero will grace the big leagues someday? It’s obviously way too early to tell, but it wouldn’t be the first time that brothers have played at the highest level at the same time, as the Blue Jays have one half of a brother duo doing that now including Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and his older brother Yuli Gurriel, who plays for the Houston Astros.

Because he’s only 12 years old, there’s no sense in getting too ahead of ourselves here. However, just for the sake of future reference, it’ll be nearly four years before they can really think about making an offer to the younger Guerrero, and that’s assuming that he turns out to be a baseball prospect. Who knows, the kid might like building model airplanes instead.

In the event that he turns out to be another Guerrero baseball phenom, here’s how things work, according to mlb.com:

An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 and June 15 of the next year. He must turn 16 before he signs and be 17 before September 1 of the following year

According to the rules, Pablo won’t be eligible as an international free agent until 2023. By then, his older brother will likely have developed into a superstar hitter, and wouldn’t it be fun if the Blue Jays could add his younger brother to the organization too?

What would it take for the two of them to play together in Toronto some day? Well, I’ve already taken us quite a distance down the “what if” path, so why not?

Because Guerrero debuted in May instead of April (because of an injury, not because of the service time debate, thankfully), the 2019 season was the first of seven for him as a Blue Jay, assuming he sticks with the organization until he hits free agency. That means he’ll be a Blue Jay until at least the conclusion of the 2025 season, and his younger brother will be 18 years old by then.

If the Blue Jays had some sort of fantasy, long-term master plan to put the two brothers side by side (they don’t, at least not right now), it would mean Vlad Jr. would have to sign an extension beyond his current contract control. I don’t know when Pablo’s birthday is, but even if he could sign a year earlier he’s still not going to make a MLB debut before Vlad’s current deal is up.

Again, the kid is just 12 years old at this point, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for his name over the next few years. Who knows if he’ll ever end up as a professional baseball player, but he’s already got an awfully nice, familiar-looking swing.