Blue Jays labeled as one of the league's "least improved teams" in executive survey

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two / David Berding/GettyImages

No matter how you look at it, it's very difficult to consider the Blue Jays' 2023-2024 offseason a resounding success.

Kevin Kiermaier and Chad Green are both back from last year's squad, Justin Turner was brought aboard on a one-year deal, Isiah Kiner-Falefa was signed to a multi-year pact and human lottery ticket Yariel Rodriguez was signed to a five-year contract.

Eduardo Escobar and Daniel Vogelbach were also brought aboard as minor league signings. Each veteran has a legit shot at making the club's Opening Day roster.

It's not necessarily that this quintet won't provide value in their own ways, because they will. Kiermaier and IKF are defensive wizards, Green is a very solid relief pitcher, Turner is a well-respected veteran who still has some juice left in his bat and Rodriguez has the chance to be either a mid-rotation starter or high-end reliever. Each of these players is going to provide value to the 2024 club, but it's more about what the Jays missed out on that's shrouded this winter in darkness.

The Athletic recently posted a piece (subscription required) where they polled 30+ executives/coaches/scouts around the league. One of the categories, "least improved AL team(s)", unfortunately featured the Blue Jays. Five panelists voted for Toronto as the least-improved team in the AL.

Here are the other teams getting votes:

  • Oakland Athletics - 17
  • Boston Red Sox - 14
  • Chicago White Sox - 14
  • Los Angeles Angels - 13
  • Cleveland Guardians - 10
  • Tampa Bay Rays - 8
  • Toronto Blue Jays - 5
  • Minnesota Twins - 4

Not that it makes things better, but there are quite a few teams around the American League that failed to address some offseason needs. It's also interesting that fans of the Jays are not the only ones taking notice of the fact that they've been dead silent all winter. Many people around the league have also seen the inactivity.

Earlier in the offseason, the Blue Jays were tied to every player with a pulse. Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, Isaac Paredes, Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, Jorge Soler, Matt Chapman, Rhys Hoskins, Amed Rosario, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Jonathan India and Joc Pederson are only some of the names.

When you put that list alongside the group of players the Blue Jays actually landed, it's tough to swallow. Every offseason, most contending teams "check in" on the best available talent regardless of roster fits. However, the sheer amount of players the Jays have been tied to is ridiculous. Coming away (mostly) empty-handed has been tough for fans to deal with.

There are still some options available should the Jays feel the need to make one last big move. Chapman, Bellinger and Snell each remain on the open market, so the possibility for a last minute deal coming together is still there. While things have not gone well this winter, it's not too late (let a man dream, please).