It buys time for emerging prospects
One of the things I was a little worried about this offseason was the idea that the Blue Jays might have to block an emerging star in the future in order to improve the roster now. By signing Semien to just a one-year deal, that won’t be an issue for guys like Austin Martin and/or Jordan Groshans.
The Blue Jays are clearly entering a “win-now” phase of things, and you can’t hold a spot for prospects when you’re hoping to compete at that level. However, I could very much see a scenario where one or even both Martin and Groshans are ready for a MLB debut before the end of the 2021 campaign, and maybe even ready to join the Blue Jays on a full-time basis next season.
Both players could be the long-term answer at third base, which would allow Biggio to move back to second. If Biggio settles in at third, Martin could be an answer at second base as well, or it’s still possible he lands in the outfield. Groshans feels more destined for third base, but has played a fair bit of shortstop as well.
The point is, we’re talking about two emerging prospects that could force their way into the Blue Jays plans, and the front office has set up a scenario that could easily allow for that to happen. If that marriage with Semien isn’t a good fit, the Blue Jays can walk away and hand the job to one of their talented youngsters in 2022. If it’s a match made in heaven, there are other options that could be considered, especially with Biggio’s flexibility, and the same for Martin.
As an added bonus, having both Semien and Springer around takes pressure off of the likes of Bichette, Guerrero Jr., and the other fairly new big leaguers that make up the roster. Granted, the expectations have just been raised over the last week, but they were already high after the Jays made the playoffs in 2020. I’m aware that it was an expanded playoff format last year, but that fact wouldn’t have changed the pressure on this young roster.
Ultimately, the only thing I like more than the fact that the Blue Jays were able to sign Semien is that it was for just one year. Given the homegrown options on the way, I think that’s going to work beautifully in the short, or long-term.