3 reasons why the Blue Jays are still in the running and 2 why they're not

Milwaukee Brewers v Toronto Blue Jays
Milwaukee Brewers v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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Still in it: Contract motivation

It is interesting to note how many Blue Jays players on the roster are reaching critical points with their contracts. This includes five who will be unrestricted free agents (UFA) following this season and 12 going to arbitration.

As you would expect, this results in extra motivation for players looking to prove their worth. In terms of the UFAs, Chapman and Kevin Kiermaier particularly stand out for their efforts so far in 2023.

Chapman has been fantastic for Toronto, leading all players in doubles and walks, while being on course for a single-season career-bests for batting average, OBP and OPS+. Kiermaier is similarly having a career-year, projected for a single-season best slash line of .302/.349/.491 and .839 OPS.

In respect of arbitration-eligible players, the main one is Guerrero, who would love to sign a long-term deal sooner than later. As much as he can/should perform better, he is arguably on course for the second-best season of his five-year major league career even at his current level of production.

Another arbitration-eligible player performing well is Nate Pearson, who is finally showing what he is capable of. In addition, Alejandro Kirk has turned things around recently with his bat and is getting closer to his All-Star form of last year.