Could the Blue Jay’s flex their financial muscle to fill out the bullpen?
Many Blue Jays fans would likely say that the current off-season has been an unexpected shopping spree. The Jays have retooled their entire starting rotation, added some depth to the bullpen, and made a bounce-back candidate to a reasonable deal in Travis Shaw. However, could the Blue Jay’s do more by using some of their financial budget to not only add to the current MLB roster but also still build for tomorrow?
Sporttrac.com has the current Jays 2020 payroll set at approximately $95 million. The current league average is almost $126 million and the Yankees top the list at almost $244 million. With numbers like that could the Jays add another $30 million in payroll to just be league average?
Using the 2016 trade deadline deal of Francisco Liriano that the Jays made with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a template let’s examine if the Jays could make a similar deal now to finish off the current bullpen and add to the future prospect mix.
For those who don’t remember the trade, the Blue Jays acquired Liriano and the remaining balance of his contract which was approximately 17.5 million which was for the remainder of 2016 and 2017 seasons. With the trade, the Jays also acquired 2 prospects in Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez.
At the time of the trade, both prospects were inside the Pirates top 15 prospects on their top 30 list and McGuire was a former first-round pick and had been rated in the top 100 MLB prospects at one time. The only thing that the Jays sent back in the trade was starting pitcher, Drew Hutchinson who had been relegated to the minors in Toronto since a horrible 2015 season. The following 4 pitchers could fill the same type of trade.