Toronto Blue Jays History

Blue Jays: Extending an incoming star has happened before

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher R.A. Dickey #43 of the Toronto Blue Jays hands the ball to manager John Gibbons as he is relieved in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher R.A. Dickey #43 of the Toronto Blue Jays hands the ball to manager John Gibbons as he is relieved in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 16, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
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If the Blue Jays are going to trade for Francisco Lindor, ideally they’d be able to extend his contract first. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done something like this.

Until the Blue Jays make their first big chess move of the offseason, the rumour mill will continue to swirl. That’s especially the case this week as teams “attend” the Winter Meetings, which are being done virtually this year.

One of the major rumours that’s been following the Blue Jays so far this offseason is the idea of trading for Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor, arguably one of the top-10 baseball players in the world. That sounds great and all, but Lindor will be a free agent a year from now, and Cleveland is going to want a king’s ransom in order to trade their star.

The solution might be a process that the Blue Jays are familiar with, even if it was the last front office regime that pulled off the move. Back in the winter of 2012-13, the Blue Jays were looking to make a big splash, and they did just that with a huge 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins. That wasn’t quite enough to satisfy then-GM Alex Anthopoulos, who struck another deal with the Mets to acquire R.A. Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner.

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The swap with the Mets was a big deal move, with the Blue Jays notoriously sending Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud to New York as part of the return, but it wouldn’t have happened without some flexibility from the parties involved. In this case, Dickey agree to a two-year, 25 million dollar extension as a condition of the trade, and I’m sure it doesn’t happen without that variable coming together.

There’s no guarantee that it could or will happen again, but I’ve gotta think that the Blue Jays would have a similar request if they’re seriously pursuing a Lindor trade with Cleveland. There have been reports that Lindor is open to the idea, but until the situation becomes more than just hypothetical, you can’t count on that meaning much of anything.

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It’s a complicated situation, but that’s usually the case when trying to acquire a true needle-mover like Lindor. Fortunately the Blue Jays have gone down this path before, and if they choose to do the same sometime over the next month or two, hopefully it’ll go a little better this time around.

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