Load up on former Yankees
I’ve talked about this idea before, and I’m going to expand even further this time. By loading up on some available former Yankees that are now free agents, the Blue Jays could address their needs and have enough money to add two starting pitchers.
I’m going to turn to mlbtraderumors.com’s piece from back in November in order to find a predicted salary, rather than taking my own guess at it. With that in mind, there should be enough money to sign Didi Gregorius to play third base, and a pair of starting pitchers in Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton.
The more I think about the idea of signing Didi to fill out the infield, the more I like it. It would come down to cost, whether he’d be willing to move to third, and if he’d sign with the Blue Jays, but mlbtraderumors.com predicted a three-year, 39 million deal for the veteran. He has more than enough arm to be an asset at third base, and his left-handed bat would be helpful in balancing things out. Here’s a look at one lineup configuration if they were to sign Gregorius.
1- George Springer (CF)
2- Cavan Biggio (2B)
3- Bo Bichette (SS)
4- Teoscar Hernandez (RF)
5- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B)
6- Gregorius (3B)
7- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (LF)
8- Rowdy Tellez (DH)
9- Danny Jansen (C)
You could bounce a few players up and down the lineup depending on who was riding the hot hand, and this would give you a very deep and scary lineup to contend in the AL East.
As for the starters, Tanaka’s predicted deal was also for three years and 39 million, but I’m going to make a slight adjustment here. Rumour has it that the right-hander might return to Japan to pitch in 2021, but is still interesting in a one-year deal in the 15-20 million range. In this case, I’d be fine with the Blue Jays giving him something like 17 million for a one-year commitment. If it doesn’t work out, you move on next year.
That takes us to 30 million, and leaves enough for one year and 10 million for Paxton to join the Blue Jays. It would be a pillow contract for the Canadian hurler, but it could be mutually beneficial for both him and the Jays. That leaves about seven million, and that money can be used to make some offers on additional bullpen help. Atkins and his staff have had a knack for finding inexpensive bullpen talent, and this might give them enough to bring back Anthony Bass, and also sign a few veterans to MiLB deals.
That’s one way to go about it.