The downside of hearing the Jays were in on Seager
Even before I write this, I know that some of you aren’t going to be happy with me for what I’m about to say. However, I can’t help but think about both the “glass half full” and “half empty” scenarios, and I think there might be one to examine here.
If the Blue Jays were seriously in on Corey Seager, how would that have impacted Bo Bichette?
When the Jays signed Marcus Semien last season they did so on the condition that he would move to second base so Bichette could stay at his preferred position as the shortstop. It’s possible the Jays would have given the same condition to Seager, but I don’t know that he would have been agreeable to such a thing. Early reports are that Seager will play shortstop for the Rangers, and Marcus Semien will once again be asked to play second base. Semien signed his own seven-year, 175 million dollar contract in Texas, so I’m sure he’s fine with continuing to make that concession.
As for the Jays, they obviously could have found a way to fit both Bichette and Seager into their lineup. One of them could moved to either second or third base, and Seager’s left-handed bat would have brought some welcome balance among a group of dangerous right-handed hitters. I’m willing to bet that would have been the short-term plan, but I can’t help but wonder if they didn’t have other thoughts in the back of their heads.
Earlier today I was thinking to myself, if the Blue Jays were to make a Pat Gillick-esque super-trade today, who would be involved? Gillick was famous in Blue Jays circles for the famed gutsy swap with the Padres that brought Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter to Toronto in exchange for Fred McGriff and Tony Hernandez. It was a gamble for the Jays at the time, but it obviously worked out in the end when they won back to back championships in 1992 and 1993. That’s obviously my favourite part of the story, but a close second would be that Gillick’s wife was mad at him for making the trade.
Having said all that, could Bo Bichette have been involved in a blockbuster trade? It seems like the stuff of fantasy, but stay with me for a minute here. Again, I’ve already said that I think the plan would have been to have both on the team, as the Jays obviously have a need in the infield, But what if, just what if the Jays were planning on making a fall-out-of-your-chair offer to Cleveland for Jose Ramirez AND a premium starting pitching like Shane Bieber? I know, I know, that’s bonkers to even think about and I’m probably out of my mind here, but a 10-year commitment to Seager (or something close to that) had me going down that path.
I say that because eventually both Vlad Jr. and Bichette are also going to require 20, 30, or maybe even 40 million per year when they reach the point of free agency. For the sake of simple math, let’s say they were each making 30 million by 2025, for a total of 60 million for the duo. On top of that they would still owe roughly 20 million for Berrios, 22 million for Gausman, and 25 million for Springer. That takes the total to 127 million, and that’s just for five players. Adding Seager’s current contract to the mix would have put them just shy of 160 million for six players, and that’s a tough place to be in when trying to fill out the rest of the roster.
Having said all of that, I do believe that the Jays will both spend serious money to upgrade the roster this offseason, and make a sincere effort to extend both Vlad Jr. and Bichette as soon as they can. I’m just not sure how they could have done that with a 10-year commitment to Seager, and still kept both of their foundational young superstars as well.