Spencer Horwitz has become forgotten member of Blue Jays 1B picture; where does he go from here?

Toronto Blue Jays v Miami Marlins
Toronto Blue Jays v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

After looking like the potential successor to Brandon Belt at the end of last season, Spencer Horwitz has found himself back in Triple-A and seems to be lost in the shuffle amongst the Blue Jays overabundance of first basemen.

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Justin Turner, Daniel Vogelbach, and Joey Votto all ahead of him in line, where does Horwitz go from here?

The simplest solution would be for him to continue playing in Buffalo. Neither Turner, Vogelbach, or Votto are under contract past this season, so Horwitz could be in line to take the DH/backup first baseman role come 2025, or even later this season should any of those guys get hurt.

There are a couple of issues with this line of thinking though. First is that there's no guarantee that Horwitz, Jays Journal's No. 19 prospect, would have a roster spot waiting for him should he stay in Buffalo. The Blue Jays went out of their way to get players who fill the same exact role as Horwitz, which doesn't really point to the team being ready for him to be a full-time big league contributor.

The other issue is that he really can't gain much more from playing in the minors. Horwitz had an outstanding season with the Bisons last year, posting a .337/.450/.495 slash line while walking more than he struck out. Sure you could point to some poor numbers in spring training as a reason why he may not be ready for the Majors, but at this point sticking in the minors can only do so much. What all this means is that even though sticking in Triple-A may be the most likely path forward, it isn't necessarily the one that makes the most sense.

The other option the Blue Jays have would be to trade him. While it obviously isn't ideal to give up a prospect who clearly possesses the potential to be a solid Major League hitter, it may be the best choice for everyone involved. From the Blue Jays' perspective, they could get something back for a player they seem to have no imminent use for, and for Horwitz, it'll give him a shot to crack a roster without as big of a logjam at first base. If the Jays do decide to go this route, what could that scenario look like?

Teams may not be clamouring for a mid-tier prospect at not non-premium position, but there would certainly be a market. His .945 OPS was tied for second-best in the International League last season, and his .450 OBP ranked first. It's extremely unlikely that a team would trade for Horwitz to be their everyday first baseman, but for a team looking for a controllable, young, depth lefty bat, he could be a perfect fit. The best case for the Blue Jays would probably be to include him as a sweetener when acquiring a bigger piece, similar to how Kevin Smith was used in the Matt Chapman trade, where he wasn't the main piece, but helped get the deal done. Whether it be at the deadline or earlier in the year, should the Blue Jays need to patch up a glaring hole in the roster, using Horwitz as a trade piece could help them get a deal done.

As of right now, the only thing that can be said for certain is that Spencer Horwitz will be starting the season in Triple-A. That doesn't mean we won't see him up in MLB at any point this year, whether that be in Toronto or elsewhere, but for now, it's just a matter of waiting to see what the future holds. Either way, Horwitz will be a player to keep an eye on in 2024.