A Stacked Free Agent Class and the Ability to Spend
This offseason is shaping up to be a very stacked class, boasting a ton of infield talents such as Semien, Javier Baez, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, and Trevor Story while also boasting a ton of veteran pitching talent, both in the rotation and the bullpen, such as Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Raisel Iglesias, and Ian Kennedy.
At the end of the season, CEO/President Mark Shapiro told the press that they could look to improve the team via trade or free agency, “We’ll have the resources to do it, both in young talent that we could trade and in payroll… It may not be the exact same shape and form, but we’re going to get better. We’ll find a way to do it.”
This is a pretty big vote of confidence from a front office that seems pretty upset that they barely missed out on the playoffs, which makes sense considering the season the Blue Jays produced and the late burst in September that put them just one game short of a tiebreaker to potentially make the Wild Card.
With the World Series over, the Blue Jays now turn their attention to free agency and the offseason ahead to try and improve the roster for next year.
Whether or not they retain Semien and Ray is yet to be seen but with so many free agents available and the notion that the Blue Jays will have financial support from ownership to increase payroll, there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to the potential add-ons as well as a young core that continues to improve each and every year, “we’ve seen an incredible amount of trust and belief in the plan and support from ownership.”
Another vote of confidence lies with recent history, in that the club does not appear frightened to try and hang with the big spenders during free agency. They inked Hyun Jin Ryu to the four-year deal back in the 2019/2020 offseason and opened their wallets this past offseason to land George Springer on a six-year, $150 million dollar contract.
While it may be a stretch for them to potentially land someone like Correa, who will most likely fetch above $200 million this offseason, Shapiro’s comments are at least comforting to know that the club does appear open to spending some money this offseason to improve the squad.
Possibility of Revisiting Some Trade Partners
Piggybacking off of the above point, Shapiro does hint that the club could use some of their prospect depth to improve the current roster even after they dealt top prospects Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson at the trade deadline this past season.
There were two players the club was unable to bring to Toronto this past summer and they were Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez and Detroit’s Robbie Grossman. The bigger fish the club will most likely try to land is Ramirez, as adding him to the roster would certainly provide a lot of pop in the lineup and a solid team-friendly contract over the next two seasons. Acquiring him will not come cheap, most likely three to four Jays players/prospects with value, but could provide a lot of benefits for a club looking to try and create a championship team over the next few seasons.
Ramirez isn’t the only player the club could go after but he certainly is one of the biggest names the Blue Jays were linked to this past season that they didn’t acquire. Some of the biggest trades in Jays’ history come out of the blue, could we see this happen again this offseason?