Four tiers of lineup upgrades for the Blue Jays

Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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Tier 1

The two players listed below are both long shots and would cost a lot. However, they are guaranteed to fill a dire need and add another MVP-type player to this talented roster. These two AL Central darlings would spark a fire in this lineup, produce a lot of runs, and be with this team for a considerable amount of time. The cost would be a lot, but if there’s a time to take the chance, it’s now.

Luis Robert Jr.

Luis Robert Jr. is someone worth selling the farm for. He continues to be one of the more under-appreciated stars in MLB in the earlier parts of his career, much like the next entrant on the list. Robert, a 26-year-old center fielder from Cuba, is coming off of the best season of his career in which his team lost 101 games. 

Despite a lack of team-oriented motivation, Robert still posted a bWAR of 5.0, while racking up 36 homers and 20 stolen bases over 145 games. This offensive production, paired with elite defence evidenced by an OAA of 12, makes him a unique five tool talent that’s being wasted on a team likely headed for a long-term rebuild at the helm of their new GM. 

All of Robert’s expected stats are kind to him as a result of him making consistently hard contact, in spite of him being an overly aggressive hitter. This poor plate approach is shown in his high chase, whiff, and strikeout percentage that are all in the 14th percentile or lower, while also having a low walk percentage at just 5%. 

Robert’s flaws are clear, and have been for his entire career up to the point. Still, his impact on the game is clearly documented as a result of his consistent knack of hitting the ball hard with quality launch angles, and tracking down everything in center field.

This calibre of player, also one that won’t hit free agency until 2028, will no doubt have a hefty price tag. Regardless, this is one who I’d take the chance on, even parting with top names like Tiedemann or Martinez. A player who maintains your stellar outfield defence and adds a potent bat the middle of the order is someone worth looking into, and the Blue Jays shouldn’t be too scared of the asking price.

Jose Ramirez

Ramirez, a long-rumored target of the Blue Jays, is fresh off another stellar season in Cleveland. While it’s not likely he’s moved after signing an extension that could keep him a Guardian until 2028, the Jays would be well advised to check in on his availability, with the Guardians franchise in a state of flux after missing the postseason. 

Most fans of the game should be familiar with what Ramirez brings to the table by now; a quality third baseman capable of providing consistent 20-homer potential, 30 double seasons, and the ability to swipe 20 bags a year. All of this production while remaining on the field for at least 150 games. He did this in six out of the last seven seasons (excluding 2020). 

Considered by many to be the best third baseman in baseball, and the Blue Jays needing someone to man the hot corner, the fit here is rather obvious. Naturally, a player of this calibre would cost a king’s ransom. It’s believable that it would take the Blue Jays' top prospects for him, but it’s the major league players the Guardians would want as well that may complicate matters for the Blue Jays. While Ramirez would be guaranteed to push this team to the next level, it wouldn’t be worth it if you’re subtracting too much from the pre-existing core.