Don’t know what’s going on? You’re reading the Blue Jays choose your own adventure series, option 2.1. If that doesn’t make sense to you, please go back and start here.
You’re off to a great start after signing Kevin Gausman for 23 million per season, especially after extending Jose Berrios last week.
While throwing money around has worked out well for you, it’s time to put on a clinic with another big trade. Things worked out well in the Berrios deal (at least so far), and you’ve pulled off other great swaps like acquiring Teoscar Hernandez for next to nothing. Time to do that again.
Unfortunately Cleveland just isn’t willing to budge when it comes to trading Jose Ramirez, not unless Gabriel Moreno is headed the other way. Since we’re not doing that, it’s time to move on to another solution. Thankfully, another very viable option popped up.
Since the Oakland A’s have decided to enter into a bit of a rebuild, you were able to convince them to trade another third baseman to you. I know, I can’t believe it either, but Matt Chapman is going to be a Blue Jay and hopefully this trade will work out as well as the one for Josh Donaldson back before the 2015 season. The deal actually turned into quite the attention grabber, as you were also able to acquire Sean Manaea to form one of the scariest rotations in baseball. Hyun Jin Ryu may legitimately be a #5 starter now. It’s too bad that Manaea will be a free agent at the end of the 2022 campaign, but the short-term value was too much to pass on, even if Alejandro Kirk, Randal Grichuk (you sent some money along with him), Otto Lopez, and more are headed to Oakland.
With Manaea only under contract for one more year, and a few other huge pieces like Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. set to be free agents in two years, you’re able to convince ownership to take things one step further. With the White Sox all but set on trading Craig Kimbrel, you picked him up for pennies on the dollar compared to what Chicago paid last offseason. It’ll be up to Charlie Montoyo whether he wants Kimbrel or Romano to close games, but it’s a good problem to have, and you’ve provided the talent for a winning roster.
This might be the most expensive timeline, and one that comes with some risk counting on bounce-back seasons from Chapman and Kimbrel, but there’s reason to believe you’re in a very strong position here, especially with Gausman in the fold to front the rotation. How do you feel about the way things have shaped up? Any regrets?