Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: The domino effect, and how timing could be everything

BUFFALO, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 2-1 at Sahlen Field on September 08, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team and are playing their home games in Buffalo due to the Canadian government’s policy on coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 08: Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 2-1 at Sahlen Field on September 08, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team and are playing their home games in Buffalo due to the Canadian government’s policy on coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays have a lot of options to improve their roster this offseason, but one decision may lead to another having to be made as well.

It’s an exciting time to be a Blue Jays fan right now, as they’re linked to a lot of the top free agents and potential trade pieces available, and it sounds like they’re one of the few teams that plan on being aggressive this winter.

That’s a great place for Ross Atkins and the front office to be, but it’s also a crucial stage of the rebuild they’ve been working on for a few years now. You could argue that they’re at the final stage of said rebuild, ready to put some finishing touches on the roster with an eye on competing for a playoff spot for the next several years. And with the talented and inexpensive core that’s been built, now is a pretty good time to pounce.

Having said that, I find myself asking questions almost every time I hear a rumour that’s linking a player to the Blue Jays. If it’s Francisco Lindor that they’re looking to trade for, what happens to the rest of the infield? It would likely mean that Bo Bichette would move to second base, and Cavan Biggio to third, but there are a lot of moving parts.

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One of the more recent rumours has the Jays showing interest in a pair of centre fielders, Jackie Bradley Jr. and George Springer. That’s not terribly surprising given their long search for a premium option up the middle, but it would mean that some shuffling would be required. Right now the Blue Jays have an outfield that consists of Teoscar Hernandez in right field, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left, and Randal Grichuk in centre. They could try to work all four of them into the lineup by using the DH spot, but it’s already pretty full between Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Rowdy Tellez, who are expected to split time between first base and DH duties again next year.

The only real addition the Blue Jays could make to the lineup without disturbing things would be to upgrade third base. It’s possible they could retain Travis Shaw, who spotrac.com has slated for a salary of 4.8 million in 2021, but I expect they’ll look to improve the lineup with his position, whether that’s with a third baseman or not.

One name that I’ve seen linked to a possible Lindor trade with Cleveland is Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who would obviously draw a lot of interest if the Blue Jays were willing to make him available. However, unless they plan on moving Biggio to the outfield, even that scenario would require another move to fill third base, unless they hang on to Shaw.

Next. Why you can bank on a catcher getting traded. dark

Fortunately the Blue Jays have developed a pretty versatile group over the last few years, mostly by design. It gives the front office plenty of options when it comes to improving the roster, and they’re not limited to simply plugging a hole. That said, there’s a good chance that if they do add a premium talent like Lindor, Springer, or someone else, it could mean that a current starter ends up being traded. Sometimes that’s what you have to do in the final stages of a rebuild, and while it’s exciting, it’s also a crucial time for the front office. Here’s hoping they get it right.

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