The Blue Jays have one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups, though their projected starting nine tilts heavily to the right side. Cavan Biggio is the only left-handed hitter set to receive everyday action in Toronto’s lineup, and even Santiago Espinal is expected to spell Biggio when southpaws are on the mound. With this in mind, the Jays continue to look into left-handed hitters, with Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi writing that the club has shown interest in Michael Conforto, Joc Pederson, Brad Miller, and former Jay Corey Dickerson.
While Davidi reports that the Jays “had offers in” on the latter three names, Dickerson joined the Cardinals on a one-year/$5MM deal, Pederson went with the Giants’ one-year/$6MM offer, and Miller received $10MM over a two-year deal with the Rangers. These players all projected for platoon or part-time duty, whereas Conforto would seemingly both be in line for more of an everyday role, and at a significantly higher cost.
Such clubs as the Rockies, Marlins, Yankees, and Padres have also been linked to Conforto’s market this winter, though Colorado could be off the board after signing Kris Bryant, while the Marlins have addressed their outfield needs with Jorge Soler and Avisail Garcia. Signing Conforto would cost a draft pick since he turned down the Mets’ qualifying offer, and it does remain to be seen exactly what kind of deal Conforto will land as Opening Day nears. His market could improve as other outfielders get signed, though in the wake of Conforto’s average 2021 season, teams may still balk at committing significant money.
A multi-year contract with opt-out clauses could be an option, similar to the deal just signed by another Scott Boras client — new Twins shortstop Carlos Correa. Or, the Jays could offer Conforto a straight one-year contract worth $18.4MM (the cost of the qualifying offer), in a move similar to how Toronto landed Marcus Semien last winter. Like Semien, Conforto could see the one-year deal as a bridge to a bigger contract the following offseason, assuming that Conforto returns to his past form.
Signing Conforto would cost the Blue Jays $500K of international spending money and their second-highest pick in the 2022 draft, which would be their second-round selection. However, since the Blue Jays will be getting two extra compensatory picks just prior to the third round (since Semien and Robbie Ray rejected QOs and signed elsewhere this winter), the Jays could feel they have the draft depth to rationalize signing Conforto.
The amount of interest Toronto has in Conforto isn’t known, as Davidi acknowledges that the Jays could just be making a routine check-in on a notable unsigned free agent. Since the Jays don’t have a set DH, Teoscar Hernandez, George Springer, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Conforto could all see regular work in the DH spot and the starting outfield spots, with Randal Grichuk getting fill-in duty as the situation warrants.
Of course, switch-hitting Guardians star Jose Ramirez continues to be a Blue Jays target, and would represent another left-handed option to balance out the lineup in a major fashion. It remains to be seen if the Jays and Guardians can finally agree on a trade package or if Cleveland will even end up moving Ramirez whatsoever, though Davidi reports that a Guardians scout was recently seen taking video of Alejandro Kirk. Since the Guards are thin at catcher now and don’t have a true catcher of the future lined up (depending on Bo Naylor’s future position), Kirk would be a logical candidate to be included as part of a potential Ramirez trade package.
Votto is 38 and refuses to waive his no trade clause so it looks like he’s finishing his career out in Cincinnati.
He sounded a lot less sure about that after the Reds sent Winker packing. Unless he’s said something more since. Cincy would no doubt like to shed the contract.
No question that Cinci would love to move that contract!
Did he say that in the last 3 months? If not, maybe he has changed his mind. Reds look like crap and are obviously waiting for him and Moustakas to fall off the books before they try again. Blue Jays look good. Why not accept it at this point?
I love votto so much
Only Yes to Votto if it’s just this year and probably part time DH. I’m not sure of his contract status but I do know his desire has always been to retire a Red
Rays will give you Meadows for Vladdy. LMK Jays fan what u think?
Good joke lol
No way the Rays take that deal. Vlad’s lead glove negates all his value
Why wouldn’t tge Jays jump at Andrew McCutchen’s former successor?
Why would the rays move Meadows for the face of the Blue Jays? Vlady maybe inverted to the DH role, but his production offensively would be similar to JD Martinez, David Ortiz, Napoli, and others who were defensively liability but provided plenty of offensive upside. Blue Jays would be silly to take Meadows for Vlady
I think ur stupid to even think that is a possibility… Vladdy was the best hitter in the league last year and he’s only 23 with multiple years of control. Meadows is not as good as he was in 2019 and I’m assuming has less years of control. “Vladdy’s glove negates his value” no it doesn’t because he glove for a 1B isn’t bad at all, at worse it is slightly below average. Vladdy will continue to be a great hitter for years to come. And btw the people that are responding to you are substantially lowering Vladdy’s value.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
I think it’s hilarious how people don’t get this is a joke.
No to Conforto. We have no room for another DH.
You Can Put It In The Books
Conforto isn’t an awful defender. He had a down year all around.
You do when you trade Gurriel and Biggio plus Kirk and whatever else the Guardians need for Ramirez
Didn’t the Guardians ask for Manoah in the Ramirez package?
I would ask for unattainable players at first also, that’s how negotiations begin, like when the Marlins wanted Vlad for Yelich
You ain’t getting Ramirez unless your willing to trade unattainable players.
It probably would have taken Pearson, Groshans and two more solid prospects for Ramirez. Think the Jays were smart to pass.
If I’m Cleveland I would pull the trigger for Moreno and Pearson nothing less then that. The Guardians aren’t trying to trade him anyway so they would have to be blown away to trade him.
If thats all it’s going to take for Jram, they should have done it yesterday
Groshans probably doesn’t have a place on the team if Chapman hits.
If Gershans and Pearson are the headliners, you make that trade 100 out of 100 times. Stop drinking the kool aid on Pearson, going into 2021 he’d never pitched to a hitter twice in a game. Crazy overrated by the media and fans.
I still don’t think they’ll trade him yet, if that all because a) they could be good this year, b) hes cheap and controlled for 22 and 23, and c) I’d imagine especially after renaming a classic MLB franchise that they will want to give their fans some recognizable names to start the season so they show up.
BUT – if they do, you have to consider how damned close the Jays are… sure prospects have value, but Championships are priceless.
Talk to me when he walks for nothing in 2 years. Is CLE’s WS window 22 and 23?
I’m not a prospect fan. they are what you want the player you’re trading for without the risk, development and granted, cheap years.
If J-ram was signed for 5 years id give Moreno+
3? Orelvis Martinez, groshans and another near-top 100 prospect. Possibly Kirk* (see below)
2? Orelvis Martinez. Groshans. Others coming/going
0? despair as the club realises that they gave up a chance to have two controllable studs over 2 years of middling with Jose as the Jays pay only FA cash for Jose to play 2b
This control is so often overlooked and is completely fundamental in trade value, which is why I believe the Donaldson trade was so illogical for Beane, someone who has pulled off a trade or 2. Donaldson had FOUR YEARS of cheap control. I consider him at time of trade just as good as J-Ram, thus using the little table i made entitled them a blue chip “untouchable”.
heres the kicker, Lawrie who took Donaldsons spot HAD ONE LESS (3)year of control than donaldson. So what prospect haul did oak get for trading 4 mvp-caliber years (no speculation like prospects) which is as valuable as a trade asset can be. Should be a Wander Franco-esque stud right? Youre giving away four mvp-caliber years on the cheap unless you are really confident that wander is going to be at least a 4 time MVP. I’d need more.
Oh right. what prospects Beane actually got… three prospects that as i recall none of who cracked the top 10 JAYS prospects at time of trade — Nolin, Graveman, Barreto.
Kinda switched into that weird trade i’ll never figure out… anyone heard anything like donaldson and beane had a fist fight or something. Even then, why not go to any of the other 29 teams undoubtedly offering exponentially more.
Doubting a trade in hindsight because it doesn’t work out is whining that a crystal ball wasnt involved. I have not been so struck by the awfulness of a trade from the very second i saw it and cussed out my friend for yanking my chain again.
*Kirk, Pearson and Biggio i believe are at a value much lower than they will be and id rather not trade them unless im getting higher value implied by the seller.
Come to think of it wasn’t that the same year that Beane signed Billy Butler to a 3 year 30 mil deal that made as much sense as the Donaldson trade.
Maybe he was experimenting with dangerous drugs that year or something.
Gurriel, Kirk and Biggio have not made an appearance in the first two ST games..if all three don’t play today..I wonder
Those three aren’t remotely enough to land Ramirez.
Marte is the perfect fit. 2B who can play some CF, under control for 3 more seasons. Make it happen Blue Jays.
They won’t trade the prospects and the D’backs are not likely to want Grichuck or Gurriel. Plus, that doesn’t really solve the problem as Marte is a switch hitter who would play ahead of Biggio, and relegate him to the bench
If you get a Jram or Marte and keep Biggio, he becomes either the super utility and plays most days somewhere or plays LF/RF because one of Lourdes and Teo is probably going as well
A bench with Español and Biggio is pretty darn good
Jays aren’t trading the farm for Ramirez after acquiring Chapman. How viable of an option is Ramirez as a 2B when he hasn’t played there since 2018?
A switch hitter is the ultimate, better fit for any team than a left or a right hitter. You’d want 9 righties against left handed pitching if it was possible. Ketel Marte and Jose Ramirez offer that option. Don’t see your logic.
“NoRegretzkys” – that’s some solid name work. Well done.
Stole it from watching Letterkenny lol
Sell the farm now.
He’s the last big piece. Would be way bigger impact than fatty Ramirez.
Fatty stole 27 bases last year, to go with 36 HRs and 106 RBI. And stellar defense to boot. Keep quite if you don’t know what you are talking about, you don’t need to comment to feel included.
Conforto is a really good fit there. I think if the Blue Jays offer him 1 year, $18.4 mil he should take it. After the Marlins signed Soler, where else does Conforto fit?
You Can Put It In The Books
No – the pick is more valuable than Conforto. If the Mets wanted another full time RF it would have been Suzuki
Brad Miller is great option really off the radar power hitter. Good for any ball club.
He already signed with the Rangers
Thanks for informing me. So many signings can’t keep up.
Conforto is a simple solution to one of the White Sox’ two biggest problems.
True. They seem to want to ignore the fact that RF exists though
The other one is the Front Office.
Biggio and Reese McGuire should get regular playing time against RH pitching. Michael Conforto represents the best LH hitting option available, after that it’s Mitch Moreland, who the Jays could use as a part time DH. Lots of lefty bats came off the market this past week so unless they want to try Matt Joyce the Jays should probably sign one of the aforementioned two
McGuire is 3rd on the Depth chart, he’s probably more likely to be traded/dfa’d vs getting regular ABs
Moreno is not likely going to open the season in Toronto and Jansen can’t bat his body weight. I’m guessing a platoon of McGuire/Jansen til Moreno is up
Where is Kirk is your scenario
You musta missed the 2nd half of the year. Jano hit like .089 the first half but managed to bring the average up to .223 and had a 1.3 war so how’s he that bad?
Why do fans think teams care about offence at catcher. As long as trans think pitchers like throwing to the catcher, they will keep the guy hitting .150 because batting average for catchers doesn’t matter. And you people who think it does clearly haven’t followed baseball for over a decade.
I’ve been saying the same thing for years. Catchers typically don’t hit and defense is all that really matters at that position. If you are lucky enough to have a catcher that can hit you should move him to first or DH him because if he keeps catching the punishment his body takes will turn him to a junk hitter.
Jano is an average at best defensive catcher, he came up a bat first guy. So not sure what you’re harping about.
Conforto still fits in Colorado after the Bryant signing. the Rockies CBT number gets much lower after 2022, so with their great attendance numbers, they could afford to stretch the budget for this year if they feel that he is their guy. There’s an outside chance of a team like Arizona or even Texas taking a shot at him too. If Toronto can figure out how to move Grichuk, then Conforto makes a lot of sense in Toronto too. If Boston misses out on Story, I wonder if they would take Grichuk, along with a prospect and/or some salary relief as they really need a RH hitting OF. I’m sure Toronto would consider dealing him within the division as they seem desperate to move that contract off their books. The Sox may still consider Wil Myers (and a prospect) if they can’t land Story.
Dream scenario if Toronto can move Grichuck. Grichuk isn’t worthless but close.
Conforto would be a good fit for a corner OF spot in Colorado. He’s a little more athletic than a typical corner OF, which helps with the extra space in Coors.
Also, assuming he figures it out at the plate and 2021 was just a down year, he could put up some monster numbers in Colorado.
Will Conforto accept an “if this/than that” contract? If you figure it out at the plate, and if you rebound, then we pay you this. Otherwise that. Not allowed and he wouldn’t take it anyway. There should be a lemon law in MLB.
He’s a Boras client and he’s good at creative contracts. The Mariners contract with Kikuchi might be a framework. After the first year, the team has to make a decision on pricy options and if they decline, the player has a cheaper option.
@stymeed You’re describing a contract with incentive bonuses. Those are allowed, not sure if Conforto wants an incentive-heavy contract and not sure how it’s relevant.
Rockies already have 4 corner OF types, so no place for Conforto unless they do something like trade Tapia. Or trade McMahon and put Bryant at 3B.
Dorothy, why would Toronto have to move Grichuk to accommodate Conforto? Maybe you are thinking budget wise but we’re not entirely sure what their approved budget increase is. Purely from a roster perspective, they only have 4 outfielders with a guaranteed roster spot and it’s likely one of them is going to DH. Conforto would see regular OF time while the other corner guys DH and Grichuk becomes a bench bat 4th OF most days. Kind of the same role he had last year after they got Dickerson and Dyson.
It’s cute jimmertree thinks Grichuk isn’t worthless? He’s actually got negative trade value by quite a large margin. Jays would have to pick up at least 5 million and attach a prospect.
Go Jays Go!
Jays players mash righty pitching, so the need for more balance is overstated.
If it’s a must what about Naquin? Could be a good 4th OF/DH, won’t cost a top prospect
They mash righty starters and Ryan Weber. They were awful in high leverage last year. They needed to win games early as they rarely regained leads late. They need some way to better play matchups. Diverse deep bench or breaking up the free swinging righties with a more patient lefty bat like Conforto in the regular lineup.
Is that opinion based on any facts?
Not necessarily causal relationship, but correlative yes. Take a look at at the set of win probability stats from last year. The difference between their WPA and their WPA/LI shows they were an excellent productive offence. But they struggled in the context of leverage. Same with the difference between their Pythagorean record and their actual record. Maybe it’s just luck or psychological factors. But I think context does matter when searching for an extra couple of wins over the season.
Not worth much as it’s purely anecdotal, but even though Rizzo and Gallo didn’t produce a lot for the Yankees, Judge and Stanton did once they were added. Maybe I’m putting too much stock into it, but the way they were eliminated from the post season having to watch one of the most balanced lineups in baseball win in the late innings kind of left an impression on me.
Their run differential vs their record was directly tied to their bullpen tire fire to start the season, not their RHB heavy lineup.
In fact, an argument can be made based on stats that they actually didn’t hit LHP well enough considering how right handed they are.
Here are the 4 LHH the Jays should target
One of those teams will part with the player come the trade deadline
Blue Jay’s will have to give the CN tower to get Soto.
They need a LH part time bench bat. Set your sites lower.
Could see a short-term deal working out for Conforto in Toronto. Facing primarily righties in that loaded lineup would give him a chance to just do his thing and hit to all fields without trying too much to hit for power and forcing it.
Yes, becoming a platoon player should really help his future earnings, while helping Toronto get rid of that bothersome draft pick. Good idea!
Nobody said anything about him being a platoon player or the draft pick. You can try again, but I bet that won’t have anything to do with what I said, either.
Send Cavan Biggio, Reese McGuire, Trent Thornton, Anthony Kay and Alejandro Kirk to Cleveland for Ramirez. The Guardians get FIVE players and the Jays only get one. Good deal for Cleveland
Kirk and Biggio have value the rest do not.
A jram deal is going to need to feature 2 of Martinez, kirk, Moreno and Groshans. It will hurt
If its Groshans and Kirk plus filler
Do the deal now.
I think the hold up has been the demand for Moreno to be included.
Moreno only goes for a Cy capable pitcher or Soto at this point
Ya I’d pull the trigger on that as a jays fan think Cleveland would have something to say. Also think jays hang up the phone on anything with Martinez and Moreno.
i’d include moreno if j-ram had more than 2 years of control. key to value
The other key to value: one of those players is already a superstar at the big league level and the other one is in the minors and there is no guarantee he will hit in the big leagues. This is why Ramirez with 2 years left has more value right now then Moreno. Ramirez could be the missing piece to a championship this year and next.
I will say I’m a big fan of Moreno and would love to have him on my team and I am not saying that he’s not a super prospect probably the second or third best catching prospect in baseball. He has a lot of value and if he comes up and shows he can hit big league pitching then his value probably would be higher then j-ram but that’s not the case yet. The other factor it’s not as if the Guardians are shopping j-ram this year they would have to be blown away on the offer so if Toronto called and asked me if he was available I would say yes for Moreno plus end of story I would certainly expect Toronto to balk but I’m not trading j-ram for anything but an elite return. Perhaps at the deadline if Cleveland is buried ,unlikely barring injuries to pitching, then I might revisit and consider moving him.
That’s a decent player, two okay players, and two decent prospects for an elite player. I promise you, the Guardians wouldn’t accept that.
You’d have a better chance offering 2-3 elite prospects for him.
Ah, the ol’ quantity over quality trade proposal. As others have commented, any Jays trade for Ramirez starts with Moreno so it’s not happening.
Spare parts and trash for Ramirez. Be serious, Ramon. That would not get a Jose Ramirez baseball card.
I hear Chris Davis is available.
Larry Bernandez 1324IM
Ryan Howard’s out there. Started looking for his cleats when he heard they were removing the shift
I would guess that the Guardians would want Moreno or Orelvis in any deal for Ramirez, while the Jays are hesitant to move them and that’s why the stalemate. I would speculate that the Jays are not willing to offer anything valuable outside Biggio, Pearson, Kirk, Groshans and other minor league prospects, as I would guess that Gurriel and Manoah are staying given that they’re a big part of the plans going forward, especially Manoah and his 6 years of control (Jays could try to replace Gurriel and his 2 years of control with Conforto). Biggio, Pearson and Kirk may be a bit more expendable, but I don’t think that they get the deal done (even with Groshans and other non-Moreno/Orelvis prospects in the mix)…..personally, I would also hate to see Kirk traded (as I like his potential as a DH and backup catcher when Moreno gets here), and, although I’m not a big believer in his ultimate upside, I think that the Jays would be selling low on Biggio (Pearson on the other hand I don’t think has much value other than as a future closer, as his full effort delivery and lack of control make it very hard for me to see him as a starter). To summarize, Jose Ramirez is a great player and I don’t see how the Guardians would be willing to let him go without Orelvis or Moreno being in the deal, which is why I don’t think there’s going to be a deal (at least not this year when Ramirez holds all that value with 2 years of control remaining)
I don’t think the Jays are going to be hung up over moving Gurriel for Jram, and if one of the goals of making a move for him (aside from simply adding another great player to the roster) is to add another LHH against RHPs, it doesn’t make much sense for them to move Biggio as part of the package.
If they could get him for Gurriel/Kirk/Pearson, plus another mid-tier prospect or two, that’s a deal that would look pretty good for both sides.
The Guardians would get 3 cheap, high-upside players to plug into their roster immediately, plus maybe another prospect or two, while the Jays get an MVP candidate without giving up too much off their current roster or gutting their farm given that Kirk will be completely expendable soon enough (once Moreno is ready), Pearson doesn’t have a clear path to the rotation for the next 2 years, and Gurriel hits FA in 2 years and can be adequately replaced.
The Jays would most likely move Biggio to LF in that scenario, keeping his LHB in the lineup and sparing them from having to splurge on Conforto.
If they don’t trade him this year..his value diminishes next year if they try and trade him, with one year of control..a lot depends on if they are going to make a serious attempt to extend Ramirez, if their not this is the time to trade him or in two years time he could walk.
A little more wax for the Ferrari.
Conforto is a good hitter for about a third to a half of a season at a time. The remaining half or two thirds of the time, he’s invisible at the plate. That’s what he does. It’ll take some naivety to see him as only the good half and pay him accordingly.
How available would Josh Bell be? Last year of arbitration. Nats don’t need to shed payroll like Oakland and Cincinnati, but they might be convinced to use him to start putting pieces in place for next year and beyond. What are their upper minors system needs?
Trade for Austin Meadows for Pearson and that provides , the Jays a younger version of Schwarber, than the Jays trade Jansen + Espinal + Chavez Young for Ketel Marte..
Biggio plays Utility Player
Springer, Marte, Guerrero Jr., Bichette, Teo, Chapman, Meadows, Gurriel, Kirk
Bench: McGuire, Grichuk , Biggio, Lopez
D-Backs would never do that trade. Maybe Kirk, Espinal and Otto Lopez… but that still feels pretty light.
jays for Days
Bichette + Pearson for Soto, who hangs up first
I don’t think the Jays have ever signed anyone to a contract with an immediate opt out. Berrios is the only one I can think of that has an opt out… but it’s after 5 years. That’s not the Jays MO typically.
And Semien didn’t have a QO attached. Conforto does. So it would cost the Jays $18.4M plus a draft pick for one year of Conforto. Jays seem to value those locks highly so I can’t see them doing this either.
I’d love to see Conforto on the Jays but don’t see it happening unless they can line up on a dal for 3+ years… which I think is unlikely. Or the Jays dramatically adjust their typical thinking on contracts…. Which is possible.
This article is missing one BIG factor – whether or not Conforto can even play in Toronto due to his vaccination status.