Let’s not forget the bigger issue here
I’m aware that the Blue Jays could really use a left-handed bat, and there’s probably no one better than Juan Soto. In a fantasy baseball world, it’s the perfect fit. However, if I’m sitting in Ross Atkins’ seat right now my much, much bigger priority would be on improving the pitching staff.
Realistically I feel like the Blue Jays could use at least three fresh arms to give them a better shot at both qualifying for the playoffs, and making a deep postseason run. After losing Hyun Jin Ryu for the year to Tommy John surgery, and Yusei Kikuchi’s rollercoaster of a season that’s landed him on the IL with a “neck strain”, the rotation is very thin these days. Nate Pearson hasn’t provided the depth the Blue Jays were hoping for either, and the same could be said for others like Thomas Hatch and Anthony Kay (injury), who were projected to provide depth for this team. It’s hard to imagine where they’d be without Ross Stripling right now, and even if they don’t necessarily need another ace for the rotation, it wouldn’t hurt. Even if it’s more of a depth variety move, another starting pitcher has to be a priority for the front office.
Just as important, and arguably even more so, would be improving the bullpen. To be fair, they do have a group of reasonably solid relievers that includes Jordan Romano, Yimi Garcia, Tim Mayza, Adam Cimber, David Phelps, and more, but they really don’t have enough “swing and miss” in the mix. When it comes to the late innings, the Jays could really use a dynamic reliever or two that can pile up the strikeouts and keep the top hitters in baseball at bay. That’s going to be even more important if they hope to make a deep postseason run.
As much as I’d love to see the Blue Jays acquire three pitchers AND win the Juan Soto sweepstakes, I understand that their resources aren’t endless. A move to acquire Soto would go a long way toward gutting their minor league system, and they might not have the prospects required to get the pitching talent that they need even more. There might be a way to pull all of it off, but at that point I’d expect the Blue Jays’ farm system to drop to the bottom of MLB’s rankings.
There’s no doubt that the Blue Jays could use a boost right now, and it’s hard to imagine anyone better than Juan Soto to bring it, but I’m not sure that pushing all of their chips to the table for the 23 year old is ultimately the right move. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll celebrate if he somehow lands in Toronto, but for the four reasons I’ve mentioned and more, I think the Blue Jays should move on and focus on other areas of need. Of course, if the Yankees emerge as a true frontrunner for the 23 year old superstar, I’ll probably change my mind again.