4 offseason decisions the Blue Jays are paying for right now

Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro
Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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1. Trading offence for defence

As mentioned previously, one of the key decisions by the Jays’ front office this past offseason was to change the team to become more defensively-minded, believing that preventing runs ultimately may be more important than scoring runs, adapting to the mindset that defence wins championships. The additions of Varsho and Kiermaier have definitely been great and have helped the club tremendously, but the Jays also gave up two solid, offensively-minded run producers in Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernández in the process. In doing so, the Jays currently rank 11th in runs scored, 16th in home runs, and 13th in RBI in all of MLB.

Looking at the performances of both former Jays in 2023, Gurriel has hit .276, with an OPS of .815, OPS+ of 121, with 32 runs scored, 11 home runs and 44 RBI, while Hernández has popped a .256 batting average, .750 OPS, 112 OPS+, to go along with 33 runs scored, 14 home runs and 43 RBI. For a Blue Jays ballclub that has been struggling at times this season with run production, those numbers would definitely be a warm welcome to the run-hungry team.

Moreover, it has been well-documented many times this season that the Jays have had their troubles with cashing in runners in scoring position. It may hurt to know that under the same RISP situation, Gurriel has hit .290, with an OPS of .909, four home runs and 33 RBI, whereas Hernández has done just as well or even better with a .351 average, .952 OPS, three home runs, 31 RBI, and two sacrifice flies. One could never quantify how many runs the Jays’ defence have saved this year that won them ballgames versus how many runs they didn’t score in the clutch that lost them ballgames. But knowing that providing consistent offensive production and performing in the clutch with RISP has been the team’s Achilles’ heel all season, having some extra power and solid run production like how Gurriel and Hernández have been coming through with their new clubs certainly leaves a lot to be desired.