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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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 15: Taijuan Walker #00 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 15, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 15: Taijuan Walker #00 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 15, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

1- Starting Rotation

Last but not least, I’m sure you could have guessed that I’d have the starting rotation at the the top of the list. There’s good reason for that.

As of today, if I were to predict the starting five for the Blue Jays it would include Hyun Jin Ryu, Nate Pearson, Robbie Ray, Tanner Roark, and Ross Stripling. However, it’s well known that the Blue Jays are looking to add at least one impact starter this offseason, and maybe even two. They’ve already retained Ray on a one-year, eight million dollar pact, but the work is far from over.

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It might mean that the Blue Jays bring back Taijuan Walker, who was very successful during his short tenure with the club after a deadline deal trade from the Mariners. The 28-year-old had a successful season after missing a lot of time to injury earlier in his career, and he’d be a nice option to retain. There hasn’t been much connecting the Jays to top-tier arms like Trevor Bauer, Masahiro Tanaka, or Charlie Morton, but they have been rumoured to be sniffing around Jake Odorizzi, and more recently with J.A. Happ.

Depending on who could be available, the trade route might be the better bet for the Blue Jays when it comes to the rotation. They have plenty of minor league talent if they find the right trade target, it’s just a matter of finding a top-tier arm to acquire, and that’s easier said than done. It’s possible the Rangers could be talked into parting with Lance Lynn, and maybe even the Cubs would discuss moving Yu Darvish if they’re going to blown things up, although that would come with a huge cost. Maybe there’s another club that finds they need to trim payroll as the winter goes on.

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One way or another, the Blue Jays should have the resources they need to improve the rotation, and it remains as their greatest need. That being said, do you remember a time when the rotation wasn’t the top priority? As they say, you can never have too much pitching, the Blue Jays could certainly use a few more arms.

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