While the Blue Jays have missed out on a few chances to improve the roster, there are still some solid paths to significant improvement over the winter.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a huge nerd when it comes to stuff like roster building, trade scenarios, and free agency. I’m not going to say I enjoy the offseason even more than when the schedule is being played during the summer, but my interest doesn’t really drop off a lot whether there are games being played or not.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent the last few months imagining a variety of scenarios for how the Blue Jays can improve their roster over the winter. It’s even more fun to think about this time, as the club is actually in a position to spend some money, and even target some of the top-tier free agents. That said, so far they’ve struck out in their efforts to acquire an impact player, and it seems like the market is finally starting to heat up. That means they’re going to have to make a decision or two sooner than later.
Since a few premium trade targets like Francisco Lindor, Yu Darvish and others are off the board, what would be the best way for the Blue Jays to proceed from here? In my view, they have four different areas to address, including the starting rotation, the bullpen, third base, and likely centre field.
According to spotrac.com, they’re currently projected for a payroll of around 100 million. For the purposes of this exercise, I’ll say that ownership is willing to push things to the 150-160 range in 2021, and likely a little higher in the following years after that, assuming they continue to compete for a playoff spot. As for free agency, we’ll use mlbtraderumors.com’s prediction piece from earlier this offseason to find a fair contract number, and this way I’m not just speculating.
With all of that in mind, what’s the best way for the Blue Jays to proceed from here? If I were in charge, here’s how I’d approach the rest of the winter.