Four internal questions the Blue Jays will need to answer this offseason
Extending the Young Core
While teams across the league are extending their young stars to long-term mega deals, the Toronto Blue Jays have yet to follow suit, which has been a bit frustrating for the Jays fan base. With the likes of Julio Rodríguez, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Wander Franco all sticking with their respective organizations for numerous years, it makes one wonder why Ross Atkins and co. haven’t followed suit, or, whether they have tried to and aren’t meeting expectations.
The Jays’ biggest pieces without extensions are Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, with Alek Manoah starting to enter that conversation as well. It is unlikely the club will extend him before he hits arbitration, mostly because many teams across the league find it risky to extend pitchers so early in their career, but the fan favourite getting locked down will be something needing to be explored in the coming years as well. Bichette and Guerrero Jr. are both on the books for the next three years, heading to free agency following the 2025 campaign.
Blue Jays and the need to extend young stars
The Blue Jays and Guerrero Jr’s camp have talked shop before and it looks like things are heading in the right direction. The Montreal-born slugger is open to signing a long-term extension and the two sides are supposedly going to meet again now that the season is over, mostly because Guerrero didn’t talk contract during the year. The years will obviously determine how big the salary number becomes but it will likely break the $300 million mark, especially with how he has become one of the league’s top hitters at just 23 years old.
Bichette on the other hand will also need a long-term extension shortly as well, as the shortstop is heading to arbitration for the first time in his career this offseason. The Jays shortstop made waves earlier this season when he did not agree to the Jays’ pre-arbitration raise, stating, “It’s pretty simple — I disagree with sticking to a formula to value us as players.”
The Blue Jays (and teams across the league) use various methods or formulas when calculating salaries for pre-arbitration players (which can be found here) and both he and Manoah did not accept their new numbers this year (with the right-hander stating other reasons for his decision).
The consensus is pretty much that the more the Jays wait to sign either player, the more expensive it is going to cost as they continue to develop and hopefully get better, as well as negatively impacting the relationship the more these two sides have to go to arbitration.
With teams across the league locking up young stars, it is time for the Blue Jays to jump on board and do the same.