Blue Jays Rumor Roundup: 2 former MVPs, Japanese ace firmly on club's radar

Sep 5, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich (22)
Sep 5, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich (22) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Yoshinobu Yamamoto

One of the last things the Blue Jays need this winter is more starting pitching. With the Gausman, Berrios, Bassitt, Kikuchi quartet leading the way and a hopeful resurgence from Alek Manoah on the horizon, the fit may not quite be there for someone like Yamamoto.

However, the Jays should make this happen anyway. The club clearly has the financial flexibility to make it work, and Yamamoto is coming off of one of the most dominant stretches of play the world has ever seen. In seven seasons in Japan, the right-hander posted a combined 1.82 ERA in 172 games and nearly 900 innings.

MLB insider Mark Feinsand reported on Tuesday that the Blue Jays are going to meet with the top-tier free agent in the coming days. Unfortunately, there's always going to be competition, with the Yankees, Mets, Giants and Red Sox also securing meetings.

As Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic notes, the Blue Jays could improve their current rotation by signing Yamamoto and then trading away one of the other starters. This feels like the best route for the Jays to go, as Kikuchi and Manoah both have considerable trade value and could be used to upgrade their offense.

Yamamoto is sure to land a major payday in his jump over to Major League Baseball, and he has more than earned it. Historically, there have been many instances where this transition does not work out for the player, but this does not feel like one of those. He is a true ace and has been compared to Pedro Martinez, which says a lot about the quality of player the Jays could be landing here.

Point blank, the Blue Jays need to make a move here. Not only are there multiple different spots on their roster in need of upgrades, but they need to do what they can to keep up with the Yankees. New York has landed Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo in recent days and now is the time for the Jays to make their move before the already-weak market is picked clean.