Dealing from a position of strength
We’ve heard about the Blue Jays’ catching depth for more than a year now, and the only receiver they’ve traded so far is Riley Adams in the ill-fated Brad Hand deal back in July. That said, I expect that the Blue Jays will make an impact trade this winter, and I believe it’ll involve a young catcher.
I’ve said this before, but I really believe that Alejandro Kirk is the most likely catcher to be traded, and I predict this offseason will be the time he is dealt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of what I see from the big right-handed bat, and I’d even be okay with him seeing regular playing time as the designated hitter next season, but I think the Blue Jays will allocate their resources a little differently.
The reason I think Kirk is the one that will be traded is because I ultimately believe that Gabriel Moreno is the catcher of the future in Toronto. After an impressive MiLB campaign in 2021, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Moreno join the big league club by the All-Star break of next season, or possibly earlier.
As things stand the Blue Jays already have Kirk, Danny Jansen, and Reese McGuire on their big league depth chart. Kirk certainly has the most upside of the trio, but that also gives him the most trade value, especially at just 22 years old. He’s been ranked as a top 100 prospect before, and he showed once again in 2021 that he can add a threat to the lineup with his bat.
However, Kirk is still an unfinished product when it comes to his glove work, which is why I think the Blue Jays would lean toward using a guy like Jansen as a bridge to Moreno. Jansen actually hit pretty well after he came back from his injury struggles late this season, and he’s a significant upgrade on defence or what Kirk brings to the table. It’s possible that the Blue Jays shop Jansen this winter as well, but I don’t think he’d bring the same type of trade value that Kirk would.
We’ll see how the offseason plays out, and just how aggressive the Blue Jays get on the trade market over the winter, but don’t be surprised to hear Kirk’s name banded about on the rumour mill.