The Blue Jays' lack of depth is a serious concern

Mar 10, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA;Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Thomas Hatch (31) throws a
Mar 10, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA;Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Thomas Hatch (31) throws a / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 5

Payroll Constraints?

The lack of pitching depth is concerning given a luxury tax payroll already at $256 million, which might constrain further roster additions and improvements? Blue Jays owner Rogers will be paying a 20% tax on all overages above the $233 million threshold this year, plus a 12% surcharge on any overages between $253 ~ 273 million.

In terms of hitting depth, the only name on the 40-man roster lighting up Triple-A so far is 25-year old lefty-hitting Spencer Horwitz. 21-year old infield prospect Orelvis Martinez is also on the 40-man, and despite 11 HRs and 28 RBIs, he’s slashing only .149/.208/.673/.881 at Double-A New Hampshire.

Toronto is certainly not alone in terms of a lack of MLB depth despite a top five payroll. The NY Mets, with an estimated luxury tax payroll of $383 million according to Spotrac, have already recalled 23-year old infielder Mark Vientos and 23-year old 3B Brett Baty to add to a roster that includes 21-year old catcher Francisco Álvarez. That’s because they’ve spent $129 million just on their starting rotation, $18.6 million for luxury tax purposes on injured closer Edwin Díaz, and they don’t have great MLB depth.

Let’s hope the Blue Jays’ run of good health continues so the lack of MLB-ready depth doesn’t become more glaring. After losing nine of their last ten games against AL East opponents, we can only hope Alek Manoah can turn around his season, Yusei Kikuchi can keep tossing competitive innings, and the return of Adam Cimber and Zach Pop will stabilize the bullpen. And hopefully the bats can wake up and improve on their dreadful clutch-hitting with runners in scoring position, where the Jays currently rank 24th overall in MLB with a .237/.320/.384/.704 slash line.