Blue Jays: Ranking the offseason checklist priorities

TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 4: Ross Atkins speaks to the media as he 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: Ross Atkins speaks to the media as he 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) /
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BUFFALO, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 08: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays, Randal Grichuk #15, and Jonathan Davis #49 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) /

3- Outfield/Defence

On one hand, the Blue Jays are arguably already set with their outfield picture in 2021. They have a returning trio of Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Randal Grichuk, and potential reserves like Jonathan Davis and maybe even Derek Fisher. They’re not a perfect group, but they got the the job done in 2020 for the most part.

That said, the Blue Jays have coveted a strong glove in centre field for a few years now, pretty much since the departure of Kevin Pillar. Grichuk has been an adequate choice up the middle, but adding an elite defensive outfielder to the mix could move the middle in a real way for the Blue Jays.

Of course, they’d likely have to make a trade from their current roster in order to make that work. That doesn’t necessarily mean that an outfielder would have to be traded, as they could give someone like Hernandez more regular at-bats as the designated hitter, but it would require some shuffling of the deck.

Alternatively, the Blue Jays could decide that the greater defensive need is in the infield. There have been shortstops connected to them in the rumour mill like Francisco Lindor, and Andrelton Simmons, but it will probably take a solid upgrade to move Bo Bichette off of shortstop.

There are a few solid options like George Springer and Jackie Bradley Jr. available on the free agent market, and the Jays have been rumoured to have some interest in the former, which makes sense. They’re at a stage where they need to improve in more specific ways, and while the Blue Jays have a decent outfield trio already, you can always get a little bit better.

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