Blue Jays 2024 Opening Day roster projection 1.0: Which infielder gets squeezed out?

Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider (14) looks on from the
Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider (14) looks on from the / Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
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Infielders (8)

SS Bo Bichette

Bo Bichette is the undisputed leader of this Blue Jays club. He is really coming into his own both on and off the field and is going to be the one to take the Jays to the promised land this season if all goes according to plan. He is the everyday shortstop and will be as steady of a presence as you'll find around this infield.

UTIL Cavan Biggio

Despite trade rumors and uncertainties about his specific role, Biggio is going to crack the Opening Day roster rather easily over some of the other tradeable assets. His ability to play multiple positions, as well as his red-hot second half last year, will be more than enough to earn him some steady playing time in 2024.

UTIL Ernie Clement

The thinking is simple here: Santiago Espinal has minor league options remaining and Ernie Clement does not. Espinal has long felt like a trade candidate for the Jays, and it's clear that Toronto really liked what they saw from Clement last year. Book it, Espinal is shipped off and Clement is rewarded for his excellent performance last season.

1B/DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

A Vladimir Guerrero Jr. comeback season would send shockwaves throughout the league. Ok, maybe not really, but it would be an immense help to the Blue Jays' lineup. Last year, Guerrero got on base at an above-average clip and still hit 26 home runs with nearly 100 RBI, but it was still an offensive regression for him. Getting his bat back to where it has been in the past will be crucial here. Regardless, pencil him in to an every day first base gig.

UTIL Isiah Kiner-Falefa

It's perfectly acceptable to call Isiah Kiner-Falefa's two-year deal with the Blue Jays one of the more confusing signings of the offseason. Seeing how Tim Anderson and Amed Rosario both got extremely cheap one-year deals, it hurts to see IKF's two-year, $15M contract taking up space on the roster. However, he was signed to be a utilityman who gets a ton of playing time, and that's exactly what he's going to be. The light-hitting infielder can play all around the infield and outfield, so he should be in the lineup consistently, just rarely ever at the same position two nights in a row.

2B/LF Davis Schneider

Davis Schneider had an incredible debut in the big leagues last year, putting up nearly 2.0 bWAR in just 35 games. He's (probably...) not going to continue to get on base at a .400 clip or post an OPS+ of 175, but that is just fine. He's a patient hitter who has a ton of thump in his bat and an excellent eye at the plate. He's going to be an infielder and left fielder during the 2024 season, but we'll keep him listed as INF for now.

CIF Justin Turner

Even at 39-years old, Justin Turner remains a legitimate producer with the bat. Last year, the 15-year veteran had a 114 OPS+ with 96 RBI in 146 games. He's shown off an impressive stretch of durability and reliability over the past few seasons, so there's a high probability that his deal with the Blue Jays will ultimately look like a steal. He should get playing time as the club's primary DH but will also line up at the infield corners as needed.

1B/DH Daniel Vogelbach

It just doesn't feel likely that Daniel Vogelbach, recently signed to a minor league deal, is going to actually be a minor leaguer this year. The massive first baseman has legitimate light-tower power in his bat and has been an above-average hitter in three of the past four years. While his strikeouts can be frustrating to watch, he also walks a lot and can hit a baseball to the next town over. He will rather easily make the Opening Day roster as an oft-used bench bat who can provide some late-game pop when the Jays need it most.