There's been a lot of speculation recently, about the Toronto Blue Jays potentially trading Vladimir Guerrero Jr., including from the likes of Ken Rosenthal. In an article for The Athletic (subscription required), the MLB Insider reported that the front office has received calls about their first baseman.
Now this is different to the Blue Jays actively looking to move Guerrero; this is more about performing their due diligence in taking the calls. However, it did open the door for Jays Journal's Charles Kime, to make the case for trading him.
One of the most interesting scenarios in Kime's post, regards a potential blockbuster trade with the Mets, which would see the Blue Jays receive Pete Alonso in return for their three-time All-Star. Making this more intriguing, is a new report regarding the Mets.
As per SNY's Danny Abriano, the Mets are expected to sign Guerrero's brother, Vladi Miguel Guerrero. The younger Guerrero will be eligible to sign during the 2024 international free agency signing period.
With the Blue Jays and Mets apparently already having had talks about swapping their All-Star first baseman, perhaps signing the younger Guerrero increases the chances of this happening? For example, maybe the older Guerrero would look to force the Blue Jays' hand, with a potential interest in playing for the same organisation as his brother.
If this is the case, the Blue Jays' 2021 Silver Slugger does have at least one card to play. Consider that he is arbitration eligible for two more seasons, before becoming an unrestricted free agent (UFA) in 2026.
If the Blue Jays don't want to sign Guerrero to a multi-year contract extension, they would be wise to try and get something for him before he becomes a UFA. Similarly, if they get the sense he won't agree to a new deal, it's better to move him sooner than later to maximise their potential return.
On the flip side, the Blue Jays will also be weary that acquiring Alonso would put them in an even more potentially tenuous position. Consider that he only has one year left of arbitration eligibility, before becoming a UFA in 2025.
In this instance, the Blue Jays would want some sort of reassurance Alonso is prepared to sign a contract extension with them. There's also the case that he's four years older than Guerrero, who arguably has more upside. (Although whether he can ever fulfil his potential, is why we're even in this situation in the first place of possibly moving him.)
Returning to Guerrero himself, as much as he may well like to play with his brother, what happens if the Blue Jays do manage to be the team which lands Shohei Ohtani? (And the indications are they are one of the few remaining, along with the Dodgers, Cubs and Angels.) Wouldn't the 2021 AL MVP prefer to remain in Toronto, with a genuine World Series contender?
If so, this would make Guerrero more willing to sign that contract extension, albeit again depending on if the Blue Jays want him around longer-term. Ultimately, there's just too many factors to consider in all of this, to have a clear idea of how things will play out.
As such, all Blue Jays fans can do at this point is wait and wonder what will happen with Guerrero, Ohtani, and the team in general. While these are undoubtedly exciting and intriguing times for the fans in Toronto, on some level all of the uncertainty must also be making them quite anxious.