Welcome to “Option 3” in today’s Blue Jays Choose Your Own Adventure series. If you’re here without starting at the beginning, things will make a lot more sense if you begin here.
It looks like you’ve chosen the road less taken, and that’s to let both Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray leave for other teams. It wasn’t easy to make that choice, but the bidding got out of hand in one case, and there wasn’t much control in the other. The Dodgers made it a priority to land Ray with a six year, 140 million dollar contract, and Semien chose to join the Giants on a four year deal and be back on the West coast.
With 50 million or more available to spend, this is a fair bit of a freedom for Ross Atkins and the front office team to operate with, and opens up a lot of possibilities. You ended up kicking the tires on a bunch of free agent starters, but settled for more of a two for one approach. That means the rotation will be boosted by the additions of Jon Gray for four years and 55 million, and also Steven Matz on a new 2-year deal for 22 million. Combined they’ll make around 25 million per season, and there’s a solid argument that this may have been the wiser choice rather than 25-30 million for the other free agent alternatives.
With some budget room to work with, you should have the resources to address the infield and the bullpen. The trade market has been pretty quiet so far as teams are waiting for more of the big free agents to fall off the board, but it’s bound to pick up sooner than later, and enough teams have asked about a lot of players as recently as October.
Do you want to keep looking on the free agent market, or are you content waiting for things to heat up in trade talks?
Option 1: Free agency is the way this winter
Option 2: I can be patient, maybe a mix of both?
Despite being in a strong spot, the fan base is a little bit upset that both Ray and Semien got away, and Gray and Matz didn’t do a lot to satisfy them. Winning ultimately makes the fan base happy though, so trust your gut and things will work out. That, or they won’t and you’ll be looking for a new job.