Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Jose Ramirez should still be the top trade target

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 24: Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the ninth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 24: Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the ninth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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With the CBA signed and the offseason back underway, these next few days are going to be absolute mayhem for the Blue Jays front office. Clubs from across the league are looking to bolster their rosters heading into Spring Training and Opening Day and the Jays are no different, with several holes in their lineup that could use some outside improvements before the season gets underway on April 7th.

While it’s a topic that myself and the Jays Journal staff have covered from head to toe this offseason, the ship should still remain on course when it comes to the trade front: Jose Ramirez and nothing less than Jose Ramirez.

The Oakland Athletics were looking to cut salary heading into the lockout and do boast a solid third base option in Matt Chapman, who should be available, but Ramirez should be the target for Ross Atkins and co. and the club should look to reopen trade negotiations with the Guardians as soon as the CBA is signed off.

Players like Ramirez don’t come around often, never mind being available for trade. A switch-hitting slugger from the Dominican Republic, Ramirez has amassed a career .278/.354/.501 over the course of nine seasons. The third baseman has also hit to a .855 OPS and has accumulated 31.5 bWAR since becoming a full-time player in 2016. Last season alone saw the three-time All-Star finish in the 92nd percentile in terms of strikeout percentage while also clubbing 36 home runs and 103 RBI.

With the offseason back in full swing, the Blue Jays should continue to have Jose Ramirez high on their priority list prior to Opening Day.

Acquiring Ramirez, if he is still available, will be no easy task for the Blue Jays as his team-friendly $26 million contract (through club options) over the next two seasons along with his fantastic stats are going to drive his price tag sky-high. It was reported that the two sides engaged in discussions at the trade deadline last season, discussing a package that would have sent Alejandro Kirk and more South of the border, but the Blue Jays declined the offer and continued on to finish one win shy of a postseason berth.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the two sides head back to the trade table and see if they can work out a deal, as Cleveland could utilize some of the Jays controllable but Major League calibre players in multiple areas while the Blue Jays become even more powerful offensively, adding Ramirez to a lineup that already boasts Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, George Springer, and Teoscar Hernandez.

Factor in that Ramirez also plays the hot corner, an area on the Jays roster that possesses some risk with sophomore Santiago Espinal slated to take on the everyday role, and this deal just makes the most sense for the Blue Jays organization.

Next. Baseball is back – Both sides tentatively agree to new CBA. dark

With the club looking to capitalize on their talented squad over the next few years, selling off some prospect assets to bolster the club for a playoff push seems like a no-brainer. While a blockbuster may not happen on the first day, Jose Ramirez should remain the Blue Jays’ top trade target and the club should not settle for anything less.

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