It seems like the Blue Jays are interested in every player available this winter. Is that the case, or might there be a method to their madness?
We’ve reached the point of the offseason that fans are getting pretty tired of rumours, and want to see the ideas turned into actions.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been impatient with this front office at times in the past, but these days I’ve come to expect them to largely take their time when pursuing roster upgrades. The pace is largely dictated by the market of course, but Ross Atkins and company haven’t been ones to set that market very often, and it’s hard to say if that’ll change this time around or not. One thing that hasn’t changed from offseason’s of the past? The Blue Jays seem to be kicking the tires on every available option.
They’ve largely done the same over the last few years, and we’re seeing that strategy used once again this winter, at least according to the rumour mill. The Blue Jays have been linked to anyone and nearly everyone including George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, D.J. LeMahieu, Trevor Bauer, and plenty more. It’s not just the top-tier aisles they seem to be shopping in either, as more recent murmurs have them checking into less inspiring options like Kyle Schwarber and Mike Fiers.
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It got me wondering why the Blue Jays would be checking on options that really don’t make any sense, and there could be a number of reasons. One, they could be preparing for any number of trickle down effects from other decisions they make. For example, it doesn’t make any sense to sign a guy like Schwarber at the moment, but if they were to trade someone like Lourdes Gurriel Jr., then maybe they have a need in left field.
I can’t help but think there are other elements of strategy involved here as well. Without working in a MLB front office, my assumption is that the more information you can collect about as many free agents as you can, the better gauge you’ll have on the market in general. There’s also value in showing interest in players simply to drive up the market a bit, but that can be a delicate dance as well. As we’ve seen over the last few years with an agent like Scott Boras, having a positive relationship with agents can make a difference, and feigning interest in players wouldn’t always be appreciated.
At the end of the day, it appears that the Blue Jays front office simply likes to do as much homework as they can, and to keep their options open. That’s served them well recently, and it’s allowed the Blue Jays to consider a number of ways to improve this offseason. With plenty of options on the table, we’ll see just how much method to their madness there has been when all is said and done.