Getting what you paid for
For all of the great things that happened for the Blue Jays in 2021, one of the biggest disappointments of the season was just how much time their biggest offseason acquisition spent on the Injured List. That’s not how things were supposed to begin for George Springer in Toronto.
After signing a six-year, 150 million dollar pact last winter, Springer suffered a variety of injuries throughout the year that limited him to just 78 games. The good news is that the 3x All-Star found a way to make a significant contribution when he was healthy, slashing .264/.352/.555 with 20 home runs and 55 RBI over just 299 at-bats, good for 2.4 bWAR. That said, it’s hard not to think about what could have been if he had been available for a larger portion of the season.
Hopefully the Blue Jays will be able to get just that from 32 year old, as he made it very clear just how valuable he can be when he’s in the lineup, even when he’s not fully healthy. The hope is that Springer can come to Spring Training at 100% health and stay as close to that number as possible throughout the regular season. That will likely require consistent maintenance days as the designated hitter, and even the occasional game off for a rest day, but even getting Springer for 140 games would be a huge lift.
Our own Josh Goldberg talked about this very topic the other day in a piece that’s more than worthwhile taking the time to read, and I couldn’t agree more. The Blue Jays made a significant investment last winter to bring Springer to Toronto as one of the central cogs of a team that should be a legitimate contender in 2022 and beyond. His veteran leadership will be all the more important in Semien’s absence, and I’m sure he understands the significance of his role at this juncture.
If the Blue Jays have a healthier George Springer available in 2022, that makes a massive difference. Maybe it’s not enough to make up for Semien’s loss on its own, but it would sure take a big bite out of the impact.