Predicting the next offseason move for the Toronto Blue Jays
With just under two weeks to go before a potential lockout due to the expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement on December 1st, there are reports that some of the top free agents this offseason are willing to put pen to paper before that deadline passes. This usually doesn’t happen in a normal offseason, as the top players wait further into the winter and sometimes into the new year to sign big deals, waiting out the market and trying to acquire top dollar. So what does this mean for the Blue Jays?
Their biggest move so far this free agency is locking up starting pitcher Jose Berrios to a seven-year deal (opt-out clause after year five) for $131 million, a relatively solid contract that covers the right-hander’s prime years. This deal also allows the front office some financial flexibility to add via trade or through free agency this winter in order to field a team that can smash through the playoff doors next season after posting 91 wins this past year and narrowly missing out on a potential tiebreaker.
What’s next you ask? Let’s walk through some possible scenarios given the current roster.
An Addition of a Starting Pitcher
The Blue Jays will most likely be bringing in one starting pitcher this free agency but the big question is who that pitcher will be?
Former roster players Robbie Ray and Steven Matz are potential candidates to come back but both will be in line for large raises compared to their 2021 salary, especially Ray, who just secured the AL Cy Young Award.
The club could also look to add via free agency, with the likes of Kevin Gausman and Max Scherzer available on the open market. The Blue Jays were reportedly interested in starting pitchers Justin Verlander, Andrew Heaney, and Eduardo Rodriguez before they all signed with other organizations which makes one believe that they do prefer to go the free-agent route at this time. Gausman would require a longer-term and fewer dollars compared to Scherzer whereas the former Dodgers starter will earn more money but would likely be on a shorter contract, think in the one to two years in length.
Trade-wise, the Blue Jays have also been interested in the Miami Marlins pitching staff, with the two clubs already being keen trade partners last season via the Adam Cimber/Corey Dickerson deal. This scenario could potentially fit considering the organization has a few assets they could part with to land Pablo Sanchez or Elieser Hernandez but could these prospects be used to shore up other areas on the roster?
- The Blue Jays re-sign Robbie Ray to a four or five-year deal that breaks the $100 million mark.
- They kick the tires on Gausman but he ends up heading elsewhere along with Steven Matz
- Blue Jays roll into spring training with Ray, Berrios, Hyun Jin Ryu, Alek Manoah, and an internal competition for the fifth spot