The 10 most important Blue Jays players heading into the 2023 regular season
By Eric Treuden
4. RHP Kevin Gausman
It took Gausman roughly nine years to turn into the ace-level talent that everyone knew he would eventually become. After bouncing around from the Orioles to the Braves to the Reds to the Giants, he finally turned it up a notch in 2021 with the Giants, turning that strong season into a huge contract with the Blue Jays.
Last year, he did not disappoint. In 31 starts, he had a 3.35 ERA and a league-leading 2.38 FIP, striking out 205 and walking only 28 in 174+ innings. He is widely expected to turn it up even more in the upcoming season and has actually been predicted to win the AL Cy Young Award by multiple large media outlets.
There is little doubt that the 32-year-old will be able to follow up last year with another solid showing. He has become one of the very best pitchers in the game and forms a lethal duo with an upcoming player on this list.
3. SS Bo Bichette
Amid an offseason filled with contract drama, Bichette spent a ton of his time donating to charity and hosting youth events around the country. He has seemed to shed the label of "selfish player" and is going to be a massive part of this 2023 Blue Jays squad.
Coming off of two straight seasons in which he led the American League in hits, the 25-year-old Bichette is primed for another huge season coming up. He has shown off some impressve bat-to-ball skills alongside some serious home run pop, so it wouldn't be shocking to see him top 200 hits, 30 home runs or 100 RBI in the upcoming season.
Bichette gets a ton of hate for his defensive play, but he is only two years removed from being worth 1.0 dWAR at shortstop. If he is able to sharpen his defense, he will shoot up the list of best players in Major League Baseball today.