The upside of hearing the Jays were in on Seager
As I’ve already said, I was more than a little surprised to hear Passan’s report. It wasn’t a shock at all when Passan also indicated that the Blue Jays were interested in Noah Syndergaard, because I didn’t think he would sign any more than a one or two year contract. Seager’s market was never going to work out like that, even if he was injured for part of the 2021 campaign.
The biggest reason I’m surprised is because the Blue Jays have several long-term commitments to consider already, and I didn’t think they’d be willing to take on a contract of more than 30 million per season, especially for a decade-long term. They have Jose Berrios under contract for seven more years at up to 20 million per season, Kevin Gausman’s fresh 5-year pact at an annual average value of 22 million, and five more years of George Springer for a 25 million AAV. When you look at the young stars that are going to receive big raises over the next few years such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez and more, I was pleased to see them sign a player like Gausman let alone entertain something like Seager.
It’s possible the Blue Jays just felt that Seager was “the one” free agent that they had to have, but I don’t know that I see that as the case. It shows that the front office is really willing to open the chequebooks in a significant way for the right player, and there are still several stars available in free agency whenever the lockout comes to an end. That list includes Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, or Kris Bryant if they still want a premium infielder, and it could mean that the rumours of their interest in Freddie Freeman are legitimate. As much as I would LOVE Freeman’s bat in the Blue Jays’ lineup, it’s hard to see how he fits with Vlad Jr. already at first base. Yes they could split time there and as the designated hitter, but they’re going to want to use the DH spot to keep other players fresh as well.
Whatever direction Ross Atkins and his front office team ultimately decide to go, it doesn’t sound like money is going to get in the way of an option that they really like. That makes dreaming about the return of the offseason all that much more fun for Blue Jays fans, as it’s clear that they’re not done shopping after signing Gausman and Yimi Garcia to free agent deals. Whether that means another significant free agent, a big trade, or maybe even both, I expect the Jays will be in the mix for several of the stars that could still be available.