Should the Blue Jays be calling Jeff Bridich of the Colorado Rockies? The Blue Jays could certainly speed up their rebuild if they did.
For anyone that follows the Blue Jays, it is no surprise that they have been neck deep into a rebuild. The past couple of seasons they have been involved heavily in unloading any assets to assist with the direction of the team. Things seem to have changed this off-season with the recent signings of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Raork, Travis Shaw and the trade involving Chase Anderson.
The Jays have made it known to the rest of the league that they believe their competitive window is coming quickly. But I ask myself, is there a way to open that window sooner?
That leads me to the question of should the Jays front office be calling the Colorado Rockies GM Jeff Bridich? Our own Jim Scott touched on the idea the other day as well, and it has been widely reported that Bridich is open to at least listening to offers on the Rockies perennial All-Star third baseman, Nolan Arenado. Now at this point I imagine most readers are thinking or even saying out loud that “Wait. The Jays already have a potentially generational third baseman in Vladimir Guerrero Jr.”. So let’s examine that.
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Vladdy came up to the Jays last spring and had a productive year, however, somewhat less than what every fan was imagining. That’s ok, as Guerrero Jr. is young and will undoubtedly continue to grow as a player and produce some awe-inspiring offensive seasons in the future. I’m just not convinced that it is at 3rd.
First, let’s clarify that I’m sure that Guerrero’s bat would play at any position. This is about where he should be on the field to best maximize his potential. Guerrero Jr. has been playing professional baseball with the Blue Jays organization for parts of the past four years.
During his time in the minors he has played 2076.1 minor league innings with a fielding percentage of .939 with 36 errors. In 2019, Guerrero made his MLB debut and played 824.1 innings at third with a fielding percentage of .936 with 17 errors. Now this article isn’t about beating up on Guerrero’s defence, it’s about looking for opportunities for the Blue Jays to improve. When I think about Bo Bichette‘s comments earlier in the off-season about moving positions for the betterment of the team, I got thinking if Guerrero Jr. would be on the same wavelength.
This enters the point of this article. Could the Jays acquire Nolan Arenado? Arenado has been an All-Star for five consecutive years, has been the National League Gold Glove winner at 3rd for five consecutive years, has averaged 40 homers and 125 RBIs over that period and would undoubtedly make the Jays a better overall team. A lineup with Bichette, Guerrero Jr, and Arenado as well as the Jays other core players could be difficult for any pitcher to navigate.
So what would it take to get this trade done? I’m thinking not as much as you may think. Arenado is about to start a new seven-year contract extension which pays him 234 million over the next seven seasons. This is basically 35 million for the first five years, which works great for the Jays payroll since most of their core players won’t be hitting big raises for the first few years. Arenado’s contract is about market value considering the contract that the Angels just handed to Anthony Rendon.
What are your thoughts?