You have landed on “Option 2” in today’s Blue Jays Choose Your Own Adventure series. If you ended up here without starting at the beginning, I would humbly suggest you start here.
In this edition of the Blue Jays choose your own adventure series, you’ve chosen to let your top starter walk, but that means you have money to spend.
In a lot of ways you could argue that it turned out to be the right decision. The Rangers decided to get really aggressive to secure Ray’s services, and signed up for five years and 135 million. Even if it’s let him go (but fun to watch Mr. Tight Pants leave?), it had to be done.
Your reward ended up being the ability to sign a pitcher with arguably as much upside, and more financially friendly term at the same time. To take Ray’s place you signed Kevin Gausman to a five year, 115 million dollar contract. There were plenty of other teams in the bidding, but the fact that you were willing to give Gausman a five-year deal really made the difference when the rest of the field was offering four or less.
With Gausman’s contract averaging 23 million per season, you still have plenty of room to improve the rest of the team. When you ask ownership for an offseason budget, they’re pleased with the Gausman addition and approve up to 56 million added to the payroll, with a bit left for the trade deadline as well. That means you still have 33 million to spend, which is good because you still need an infielder and some help in the bullpen.
With one major offseason checklist item taken care of, how would you like to proceed from here?
You’re in a strong place right now, but your decisions over the next few weeks and months are going to have a huge impact on the long-term strength of the Blue Jays. No pressure or anything.