With the World Series over and teams across the league starting to switch into offseason mode, the Blue Jays are one team that could be active players in the free-agent market this winter.
Multiple key members from this past season are looking to cash in like Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray and the club could be looking to sign a few different players who could make a real impact on the roster over the next few seasons. This free-agent class is looking to be one of the most stacked in recent memory, especially when it comes to veteran starting pitchers and young, talented middle infielders.
Some teams are already off to the races early into the offseason, with the Detroit Tigers acquiring catcher Tucker Barnhart from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for infield prospect Nick Quintana. There was also some big news coming from out West, in that All-Star San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey is expected to announce his retirement tomorrow.
All these catchers being in the news brings us back to the Blue Jays, an organization that has three Major League level catchers on the roster and a top prospect who could be knocking on the door come mid-2022.
Danny Jansen has been in the club’s starting role for the past few seasons and while his defense has been what is expected of an MLB caliber backstop, his bat has struggled to just above the Mendoza line at .212/.298/.396 through 251 games. He spent considerable time on the IL this season with hamstring issues but did start to hit well towards the end of the year.
Alejandro Kirk arrived on the scene back during the shortened 2020 season and made the Opening Day roster this past year, using this campaign to hopefully bolster his status on the club and prove his nine-game run at the tail end of his debut was not a fluke. He ended up spending time on the IL with a hip injury and would only collect 165 at-bats, slashing .242/.328/.436 with eight home runs and a .764 OPS.
The last of the bunch is Reese McGuire, a former first-round pick back in 2013 who was called to action when Kirk and Jansen found themselves on the IL. Dropped from the 40-man roster to begin the year, the club needed him in early May and McGuire churned out a pretty solid campaign, a .253/.310/.343 with a .654 OPS through 198 at-bats.
With top prospect Gabriel Moreno looking to break onto the scene over the next year or two, the Blue Jays could look to trade one or two of these catchers to try and improve other areas on the roster. Kirk and Jansen both bring some value to the table while McGuire holds a little less because he is out of minor league options.