Blue Jays: The best ways to take advantage of payroll crunches

TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 4: President Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins pose for a photo after speaking to the media as Atkins is introduced as the new general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on December 4, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 4: President Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins pose for a photo after speaking to the media as Atkins is introduced as the new general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on December 4, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
6 of 6
Next
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 24: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians warms up during the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 24, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 24: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians warms up during the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 24, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

The best case scenario

Until Cleveland trades Francisco Lindor, you’re going to hear rumours linking him to the Toronto Blue Jays. That happens pretty much any time Cleveland has a player available, and that may always be the case as long as Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins work in Toronto, having come from Cleveland before starting their current roles.

Lindor is a true game-changer that could be available this winter, and we’ve already seen Cleveland shed the 10 million owed to Brad Hand in order to cut down their payroll. They’ve long been rumoured to be open to trading Lindor, which was always a head-scratcher as they’ve qualified for the postseason so many times over the last several years.

More from Jays Journal

After seeing them jettison Hand, my guess is that this will be the time that Lindor is actually traded. He has just one year and 19.5 million remaining on his current deal, so there will be real motivation to trade him before Cleveland loses him for nothing.

Bringing in Lindor is a complicated one for the Blue Jays. They’d have to give up significant assets to acquire him, which is an obvious factor to consider. They’d also have to move Bo Bichette off of shortstop, his preferred position, although it may be easier to convince him if the Jays are acquiring an MVP-calibre player. They’d also have to bank on the idea that Lindor would stay beyond 2021, as I’m not sure they’re quite at the “win-now” stage that you usually see from teams chasing a player of this ilk.

Still, it’s a situation worth monitoring, especially because it’s pretty obvious that Shapiro and Atkins have been sniffing around for a while now. The soon-to-be 27-year-old is smack dab in the middle of is prime, and two-way stars like him don’t grow on trees.

Having said all that, we know that Cleveland will be motivated to get his contract off the books, and that there won’t be many teams willing to add that kind of money to their payroll, even for a premium talent. It might be the right opportunity at the right time for the Blue Jays, and it would be a game-changing acquisition.

dark. Next. Re-sign or pass on pending free agents?

What other high-salaried players could fit the bill for this list? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.

facebooktwitterreddit