One more versatile bat
Maybe it’s just me, but I spend a lot of time thinking about how the Blue Jays will use their DH spot in 2022 and beyond. I know they’re going to continue to rotate several of their players through the position to help them stay rested, but I feel like the Jays have an opportunity to add another weapon that could help the team in multiple ways.
If the season started today, I’m guessing that their primary DH would likely be Alejandro Kirk. However, I could also see Kirk being a talented young player that ends up being used as a significant trade piece this winter as well. I say that because the Jays still have Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire on the 40-man roster, and their top prospect Gabriel Moreno will likely make his big league debut at some point in 2022.
Even if Kirk isn’t traded, I still think the Blue Jays have room to add another bat, and in my mind the ideal fit would be a left-handed hitting outfielder. We saw how well that fit worked with Corey Dickerson on the roster down the stretch, and at the right price I’m sure the Jays would be interested in having him back.
A guy like Dickerson would not only provide a left-handed bat to give the lineup some balance, but the extra support for the outfield depth could be important as well. The Jays are set to return George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as their starting trio, but it never hurts to have the latter two as the DH, especially in favour of a better defender. Randal Grichuk is still on the roster as well, but he’s more of a redundant player than a complementary one, and I anticipate the Jays may look to trade him over the winter.
For the sake of a visual, let’s say the Blue Jays were able to acquire a player like Ramirez from Cleveland. If they did that and re-signed Dickerson, their starting lineup could look like this:
1- Springer (CF)
2- Ramirez (3B)
3- Guerrero Jr. (1B)
4- Bichette (SS)
5- Hernandez (RF)
6- Dickerson (LF)
7- Gurriel Jr. (DH)
8- Jansen/McGuire (C)
9- Biggio/Espinal (2B)
As you can see above, it really feels like the Blue Jays have to do something significant to replace Marcus Semien. However, I would argue that finding another outfielder might be almost as important, even if it won’t cost as much. If the Jays can’t reach an agreement with Dickerson they could always turn to free agent alternatives like Joc Pederson or Eddie Rosario. If they wanted to spend a little more, they could always big on big bats like Kyle Schwarber or Michael Conforto, which could be downright unfair for opposing pitchers.
While it’s very exciting that the Blue Jays have already taken care of a few of their offseason checklist items, it’s clear that the work is far from done. We’ll see if they can do anything else before the CBA expires, but if they can’t then I expect the Jays will be one of the busier teams once things get going again.