4 positions the Blue Jays need to invest in during free agency

With free agency rapidly approaching in a couple months, which positions do the Blue Jays need to address and spend on to keep the team competitive for 2024?

Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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2. Starting pitching

With the potential of Ryu leaving the Jays this upcoming offseason, along with the ambiguity of Alek Manoah’s situation with the organization, the Jays will need to look for a solid replacement for their starting pitching for 2024 to fill the remaining slot in the rotation. Free agency will certainly be the path to take, as the most-ready starting pitching prospects in their system, Ricky Tiedemann and Brandon Barriera, probably won’t be ready for prime time until another year or so at least. In addition, the Jays don’t have a reliable arm currently that they could trust and thrust into the rotation directly from Triple-A Buffalo.

The absolute #1 option would no doubt be Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. However, with his current injury issue with his elbow, along with the unknown course of action he will choose for his treatment, it could ultimately impact his ability to pitch effectively or even at all in the upcoming season and beyond. Not only that, his expected contract would most likely deplete all of the Jays resources in one shot, leaving practically nothing left to address other positional needs.

So the more likely scenario for the Jays would be to go after the next tier of starting pitchers. Blake Snell would be a great option, as the former Cy Young winner has had a strong season with the underachieving San Diego Padres. In 28 starts, he has compiled a 12-9 record with a league-leading 2.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, with 201 strikeouts in just 155 innings pitched. His only main flaw had been his abnormally high number of walks given up so far this year with 89. Alternatively, there’s intriguing options including Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Nola, Lucas Giolito, and perhaps even Marcus Stroman, if he executes his opt-out clause with the Cubs. The Jays will definitely have plenty of options that they can explore, but in any case, they will probably need to pay up to get back quality in return.