Blue Jays: The potential benefits of making the playoffs in 2020
Selling Toronto as a free agent destination
By now, I think it’s safe to say that the rest of the league is waking up to what the Blue Jays are putting together in Toronto, or Buffalo, or whatever. However, getting a free agent to come and join the party is a whole other thing altogether.
Ross Atkins should have plenty of budget at his disposal to go free agent shopping this winter, but half of the battle is convincing free agents to accept your offer. That’s especially the case for Canada’s only team, as some players prefer to live closer to home, or to avoid the complications that come with frequently crossing the border, or even dealing with Canadian taxes.
That said, there are two things that will always attract free agents, with the first being money, and the second being the chance to win. Right now the Blue Jays would be selling agents and players on what “could be”, but a move into the playoff circle this year would help Atkins sell a narrative that says this team is ready to win now.
I don’t know that I think they’ll be serious World Series contenders in 2020 (Fangraphs likes them at 0.5%, for what it’s worth), but I do think that once a fresh season starts in 2021 and beyond, that winning should be the only goal. The Blue Jays have put together an enviable roster of talented young players, but a few more finishing touches could really put them over the top, and a playoff appearance this year would be really helpful to make it happen.