The Blue Jays haven’t been afraid to bid on the top free agents over the last few years, but I expect there will be a few they’ll stay away from this time around.
Before you start looking for me on Twitter to tell me how much money their ownership has, or any other reason why you might think I’m wrong, know that for me this isn’t about money. As I look at this year’s crop of free agents, I believe that there are three premium players that the Jays won’t be bidding on, or even really kicking the tires. You might hear the Blue Jays linked to just about everybody, but there are some cases I’ll have an easier time believing than others.
While the Jays have a talented young core that is worth investing in, and the potential funds to make some impact moves, the front office still has to weigh each decision carefully. That’s especially the case with so many in-house stars that will need to be extended over the next few years, and only so much payroll space to go around. While they saw Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien, and Steven Matz become free agents this week, the same could happen a year from now with Jose Berrios, two years from now for Teoscar Hernandez, and even in four years when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette could hit the open market. I fully expect the Blue Jays to increase payroll for 2022, and likely to do the same again the following year, but there will always be a limit.
With that in mind, which players do I see as off limits for the Blue Jays? Allow me to break it down for you on a case by case basis.