The Blue Jays reached a new spending frontier, and reshaped a good chunk of their starting lineup. Is it enough to bring the Jays some postseason success?
Major League Signings
- Chris Bassitt, SP: Three years, $63MM
- Brandon Belt, 1B/DH: One year, $9.3MM
- Kevin Kiermaier, OF: One year, $9MM
- Chad Green, RP: Two years, $8.5MM (Blue Jays have three-year, $27MM club option for 2024-26; if this option is declined, Green has $6.25MM player option for 2024; if both sides decline options, Blue Jays then have a two-year, $21MM club option for 2024-25)
- Jay Jackson, RP: One year, $1.5MM split contract (only if Jackson spends time at MLB level)
2023 spending: $41.55MM
Total spending: $89.8MM
- Exercised $3MM club option on RP Anthony Bass
- Declined $12MM mutual option on OF Jackie Bradley Jr. ($8MM buyout paid by Red Sox)
Trades & Claims
- Acquired OF Daulton Varsho from Diamondbacks for C Gabriel Moreno and OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
- Acquired RP Erik Swanson and SP prospect Adam Macko from Mariners for OF Teoscar Hernandez
- Acquired SP/RP Zach Thompson from Pirates for OF prospect Chavez Young
Notable Minor League Signings
- Drew Hutchison, Paul Fry, Casey Lawrence, Rob Brantly, Luke Bard, Junior Fernandez, Wynton Bernard, Vinny Capra, Julian Fernandez
- Gurriel, Hernandez, Bradley, Ross Stripling, Raimel Tapia, Bradley Zimmer, Anthony Kay, Julian Merryweather, Tayler Saucedo, Matt Gage, David Phelps (retired)
Teoscar Hernandez led the Blue Jays in plate appearances from 2018-22, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. finished fourth on that list. So when GM Ross Atkins said in October that the Jays were less likely to change the team’s core during the winter, that ended up not quite being the case, though it’s fair to argue that Atkins perhaps didn’t consider two outfielders slated for free agency in the 2023-24 offseason as true “core” pieces.
Phrasing quibbles aside, Toronto leaves the offseason with a lineup that has considerably more balance between left-handed and right-handed batters, more speed, and more defense than last year’s squad. On paper, the Jays look better prepared for both the reconfigured outfield dimensions of their home ballpark, and for a 2023 season that will put a broader emphasis on speed and glovework due to the new rules.
The Jays got right to business in revamping their outfield mix, as Hernandez was dealt to the Mariners in one of the offseason’s most notable early moves. The trade brought the Blue Jays a young arm for the future in Adam Macko, and the more immediate help that Erik Swanson can provide to the bullpen. Swanson has pitched well for the last two seasons, particularly a 2022 campaign that saw him post a 1.88 ERA and mostly-elite secondary numbers across the board in 53 2/3 relief innings for Seattle.
With the aftershock of the Blue Jays’ bullpen collapse in Game 2 of the wild card series (against the Mariners, ironically) still lingering, it was hard to argue that Toronto didn’t need to bolster its relief corps in some fashion. Swanson will bring some needed strikeouts to the bullpen, and the Jays figure to use him in many types of high-leverage situations, including some traditional set-up innings in front of closer Jordan Romano.
Hernandez’s departure set the table for the next big outfield move, which also saw the Blue Jays finally dip into their significant amount of catching depth. It isn’t often that a club moves a consensus top prospect like Gabriel Moreno, yet since Toronto also had Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen lined up behind the plate, all three backstops have been prominently featured in trade rumors for the better part of a year.
The Jays were willing to wait a little longer to finally trade a catcher, as their swap with the Diamondbacks didn’t come together until Willson Contreras and Christian Vazquez were already off the free-agent catching market, and after the A’s had moved another major catching trade chip in Sean Murphy. Arizona was also a team with a notable trade surplus, as its group of left-handed hitting outfielders attracted many teams besides just Toronto. But, with the D’Backs needing catching and the Jays needed left-handed hitting outfield help, the fit was perfect. Gurriel’s inclusion along with Moreno finally got the Diamondbacks to budge on Varsho, which was an acceptable result for the Blue Jays since Gurriel was already looking like an expendable asset.
The 26-year-old Varsho is arbitration-controlled through the 2026 season, giving the Blue Jays a long-term asset that they see as an outfield cornerstone. Only 28 players in baseball had a higher fWAR in 2022 than Varsho’s 4.6 number, as he combined excellent defense with strong baserunning and above-average (106 wRC+) offensive production in the form of 27 home runs and .235/.302/.443 slash line in 592 plate appearances.
There is naturally still room for improvement in Varsho’s numbers, particularly when it comes to drawing walks and making contact (Varsho struck out 145 times in 2022). The Blue Jays are hoping that last season might represent Varsho’s floor as an offensive player, and even if he does have a similar year at the plate, Toronto isn’t going to mind another all-around performance in the 4.6 fWAR range.
Before the trade with Arizona, the Jays had already improved their outfield defense by signing Kevin Kiermaier to a one-year, $9MM free agent contract. Kiermaier has been one of baseball’s best defensive players for the better part of the decade, and after being a frequent thorn in Toronto’s side as a member of the Rays, Kiermaier now moves elsewhere in the AL East after Tampa Bay declined their $13MM club option on his services for 2022.
Signing Kiermaier carries some obvious risk, considering that he has been an average offensive player at best during his career, and (most pressingly) a very frequent visitor to the injured list. Last season was no different, as Kiermaier’s 2022 campaign ended in July when he had to undergo surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. In theory, this surgery might finally correct what has long been a lingering issue for Kiermaier, yet it is also fair to wonder what Kiermaier has left in the tank as he enters his age-33 season and is coming off yet another substantial injury layoff.
Should Kiermaier again need to miss time, Toronto has a ready-made center field replacement in Varsho, or George Springer might even move back to his old position from his new right field spot. Whit Merrifield and Cavan Biggio will figure into the corner outfield picture, with rookie Nathan Lukes also serving in a backup outfield capacity.
The result is a vastly superior defensive outfield, as the Varsho/Kiermaier/Springer alignment from left to right is streets ahead of the Gurriel/Springer/Hernandez trio that Toronto often used in 2022. Even from a depth perspective, the Jays are in a better position than last year, when injuries to the starters meant a lot of playing time for such replacement-level outfielders as Raimel Tapia, Bradley Zimmer, or Jackie Bradley Jr. Losing Hernandez’s bat may weaken the lineup, or maybe not if Varsho takes a step forward, or if Springer’s move to a less-strenuous outfield position helps him stay on the field more often.
With two left-handed bats in Varsho and Kiermaier added to the lineup, the Blue Jays added a third by signing longtime Giants first baseman Brandon Belt as the primary designated hitter. Health is again a red flag here, as Belt has battled knee problems for years and underwent surgery on his right knee back in September. Though those issues surely contributed to Belt’s subpar numbers in 2022, he was posting monster numbers when healthy in 2020-21, hitting .285/.393/.595 with 38 homers in 560 PA over those two seasons.
As with Kiermaier, the Jays have made preparations in case Belt has to miss more time, as any of Toronto’s right-handed bats could get a DH day whenever a left-handed starter is on the mound. Belt said he felt reinvigorated in the aftermath of his knee surgery, so between good health, the move to a more hitter-friendly park (with more tempting dimensions for left-handed hitters), and less of a worry about defensive shifts, there is reason to think Belt can bounce back from his tough 2022 season.
These new faces will augment the team’s core group of Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Matt Chapman, and the now-solidified catching tandem of Kirk and Jansen. Second base remains a bit of a question mark, but the Blue Jays seem confident that the combination of Merrifield, Biggio, and Santiago Espinal can be productive. Toronto wasn’t really linked to many notable infield upgrades on the rumor mill this winter, with the exception of agent Scott Boras stating that the Jays “were really after” his client Xander Bogaerts before Bogaerts signed with the Padres.
Exploring big-name acquisitions has become routine for the Toronto front office in the last few years, with Atkins and company at least checking in on a wide array of players as a matter of due diligence. The 2022-23 offseason was no exception, as the Blue Jays reportedly had varying degrees of interest in such players as Bogaerts, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Brandon Nimmo, Carlos Rodon, Cody Bellinger, Johnny Cueto, Michael Brantley, Nathan Eovaldi, Jameson Taillon, Andrew Heaney, Masataka Yoshida, Kyle Gibson, Michael Conforto, Joey Gallo, Robert Suarez, Alex Reyes, and their own most notable free agent in Ross Stripling.
Though some of those signings may have more realistic possibilities than others, the fact that the Blue Jays are able to consider basically any player speaks to the team’s greater financial flexibility. After spending a club-record $171MM on payroll in 2022, the Jays have boosted that number even further with approximately $211.7MM committed to salaries this season. This translates to a luxury tax number of roughly $250.5MM, putting the Jays over the luxury tax threshold for the first time and quite close to the secondary Competitive Balance Tax threshold of $253MM.
Big-spending teams like the Yankees and Padres have slightly curbed their spending to stay under particular tiers of tax penalties, and it isn’t known if the Blue Jays might similarly see the second CBT line as an upper limit on their spending. Still, given how aggressive the Jays have been, it is hard to imagine that the club wouldn’t be willing to surpass the $253MM line if it meant picking up a necessary addition at the trade deadline, for instance. Exceeding the next tier ($273MM) might be a different story since the Jays would then see their top draft choice in 2023 knocked back ten places in the draft order. But, the CBT’s impact on other non-financial penalties (such as the draft pick cost and compensation for free agents who reject qualifying offers) is the same for the Blue Jays if their tax figure is anywhere from $233MM to a dollar below the $273MM mark.
The Jays didn’t have any qualms about pursuing a QO free agent this offseason, as the team gave up $500K in international bonus pool money and its second-highest pick in the 2023 draft in order to make its biggest signing of the winter. It wasn’t any surprise that most of the names on Toronto’s target list were pitchers, and the Blue Jays landed some necessary rotation help by signing Chris Bassitt to a three-year, $63MM deal.
The Giants’ inclusion of an opt-out clause allowed San Francisco to entice Stripling away from a possible reunion with the Jays, meaning that Toronto had an even more marked need to find a replacement for Stripling’s quality production. Bassitt was the answer, as he cashed in on the heels of a strong four-year run with the Athletics and Mets. With a knack for inducing soft contact and limiting walks, Bassitt has been a thoroughly solid arm, and he’ll line up as the Blue Jays’ third starter behind Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman.
Even if the top three has been reinforced, however, an argument can certainly be made that the Jays might have done more at the back end of the rotation. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that Jose Berrios will be at worst a good fourth starter if he bounces back from his mediocre 2022 campaign, and fifth starter Yusei Kikuchi is also looking to rebound from a dismal season.
If Kikuchi falters again, the Blue Jays can turn to a group that includes Zach Thompson (acquired in a January trade with the Pirates), non-roster options like Drew Hutchison or Bowden Francis, or Mitch White when he is healthy. Hyun-Jin Ryu might return from Tommy John surgery around the All-Star break, but it’s an open guess as to what Ryu can contribute after his long layoff. If not Ryu, perhaps top prospects Ricky Tiedemann or Yosver Zulueta might become possibilities by the second half, but overall, there’s a lot of uncertainty about how the Jays’ rotation might look by the end of the season.
The rotation questions only put more pressure on the bullpen, and in speaking of late-season additions, Chad Green was another notable winter signing, joining the Blue Jays on an option-heavy deal that could be as little as a two-year, $8.5MM deal, or as much as a four-year, $29.25MM pact. Green had Tommy John surgery last May, so he might also be something of an unofficial “deadline acquisition” that is already in the organization. If Green can make a quick return to anything close to his past form with the Yankees, he’ll be another nice fit for the relief corps.
It was an altogether interesting offseason in Toronto, as the club didn’t exactly overhaul things (not that such an extreme was needed after a 92-win season) but also did more than just add the proverbial finishing touches to the roster. The Blue Jays will again face stiff competition to return to the playoffs, but just getting into the postseason wouldn’t be satisfactory for a team that clearly has designs on a championship.
How would you grade the Blue Jays’ offseason? (poll link for app users)
Extremely excited for the season! Let’s pray for health.
Go Jays go
Brandon Belt is the Jay’s key to winning the pennant and getting back to the world series
The Blue Jays really went heavy on defense and relief pitching this offseason. Now the team needs either Belt or Biggio step up and replace Teoscar. This is still very much an offense first team
Belt will be fine. Biggio is depth at a deep position needs to be moved to address areas of weakness.
Biggio is depth, yes. However wouldn’t return much of anything in trade. Hasn’t been healthy or productive enough to consider trading him at this point. More of a non-tender candidate I’d things aren’t improved. The ban of the shift should add a hit or two, but the caught looking won’t change. Some stability and the renewed mindset that’s been reported on this spring should hopefully help too.
Biggio is below average offensively but above average defensively at 2B. He 3 yrs of arb control remaining. That has value. I wouldn’t expect that he would return anything much other than a bench player. Specifically a right handed hitting 4th OF. That’s something the Jays need.
Teoscar’s production won’t only be replaced by those two. Varsho, KK, a healthy Springer will all go a long way to replace the loss. Defensively it’s already an improvement with the rearrangement of the OF.
I might be alone, but I don’t think they’ve improved. I am a defense-first fan, but is Varsho/KK really better overall than Gurriel/Teoscar?
And is Bassit an improvement over Stripling?
I guess the answer is “yes”, but I am not seeing a huge improvement.
Seems like valid points. I gave them a C for effort.
Keirmaier/Varsho are a definite upgrade over Hernandez/Gurriel but Varsho needs a platoon partner to protect him against lefties.
Bassitt is an overpay in terms of years.. maybe a little high in dollars. Equivalent value could be had with Stripling, Syndergaard, etc. Bassitt’s signing commits 4 starters playing for the next 3 years.
I’m sure we have all seen how free agency works. They drive the bus here. You don’t sign any impact free agents unless you are willing to go a little past what you want to accept. You don’t have any other acquisition costs like prospects so you pay a little more money to out bid the competition. Bassitt and Stripling and Syndergaard are not the same pitcher at this point and the Jays were willing to pay more to get more of a sure thing.
If playing Varsho in CF helps Springer stay in the lineup, that will help replace some of the lost offense. I also believe that Merrifield and Belt could still have something to offer if utilized properly. The improved defense should help their pitching be better overall so Bassit should end up being better than Stripling was last year.
I see a deeper, more balanced team. But also, perhaps as importantly, Belt, Merrifield, and KK are solid professionals that know what it takes to win. I think that could be the biggest difference maker for the Jays.
Agreed that Springer should stay in the corners. I’m going to assume your point about Varsho in CF means Keirmaier is on the IL? If this is true, it doesn’t change the fact that Varsho still needs a platoon partner. It won’t be Luke’s because he’s another lefty.
Merrifield is best utilized at 2B, occasionally getting reps in the OF. Belt should see LHP a majority of the time and play 1B 10-15 games. That’s how I would use them.
When looking at the outfield you have to factor in Springer moving from CF to RF not just the 2 for 2 swap of players. Much better defensive and the offense did not take much of a drop when considering Varsho nearly equaled Hernandez in offense and Gurriel’s power fell off a cliff last year.
You meant to say Varsho nearly equaled Gurriel’s offense right?
As someone who watched every single game last year I can tell you that yes Varsho/KK are a huge improvement over the clown shown of Teo & Lourdes defensively. Bassit is an improvement in that he can go deeper into games, has a better track record than Stripling, and is locked up for 3 years. Everyone worried about the offense needs to realize that if we’re not giving away a tonne of runs due to crappy defense it means we won’t need to score a tonne to win.
Offensively no. Teo is easily the best offensive player of the bunch. They will miss his bat as Varsho likely won’t replace all of it.
Defensively they’re way better though. Varsho was one of the top 3 defensive CF in the league last year… and he’s playing LF. Springer an above average CF is in right. All three of these guys are legit gold glove possibilities.
Better balance to the lineup will help add a few runs too. And the lack of shifting will help the offense too. If all these factors make their offense almost on par with last year… the better pitching and defense should mean an improved team overall.
Is Bassitt better than the career year Stripling had last year? Probably not. Is he better than this year’s Stripling? Probably. But the rotation’s improvement will come entirely from Berrios and Kikuchi, who had the worst years of their careers and can be expected to be better.
I didn’t like the Teoscar trade for them, it felt like they sold low on him. I think they overpaid for Varsho when they had already brought in a lesser version of him in Kiermaier to improve the defense, and I think they overpaid for Bassitt when they could have got an Eovaldi type of SP for half the price and similar production. They had a poor man’s version of Bassitt already in Stripling who they could have re-signed for pretty cheap. Brandon Belt looks washed up, and they didn’t do a good job replacing the offense lost in trading away Teoscar, Moreno and Gurriel Jr. They gave up on Julian Merryweather too soon, as he has looked great this spring and could still end up being a dominant reliever, and they also really could have used at least one more lefty RP.
I was not a huge fan of their off-season. I’m sure many will disagree with me, but to each their own.
I used to think exactly like you. However, gurriel/hernandez were bad defensively. Also, they will become ufas at the end of the year. The jays need to keep money for bichette and guerrero. Also, I feel like Atkins had to break up the clown show with the hispanic players. I think these moves were more about that and the rest of the team will carry the offense
I Don’t think there will be much of a difference in the offence between KK and Varsho vs. Hernandez and LGJr. this year. Last year KK and Varso had 4 more Hr and 16 less runs than Hern. and LGjr in 25% less AB. They will be fine.
While I agree that they should of gotten more for Teo, and that they probably overpaid for Varsho..I think most of their moves were pretty solid…as long as they stay away from injuries(Springer, Kiermaher especially). They needed more balance to the lineup as well as maturity and defense. Merriweather was useless,so that move didn’t matter much. I will agree with you about Bassitt though. I think he’s gonna get roughed up in the A.L. east, and Berrios lack of missing bats is a concern as well. Overall if they stay healthy, they should definitely be one of the best teams in MLB.
j. johna jaymanason
I am saddened by the same old lack of adressing thier single greatest need year after year. Their Starting Pitching is a huge concern again.Seems like the same situation every single year, for many years. i am also very shocked that not too many fans seemingly do not even see this. Outside of Manoah & Gausman, all others are suspect!! We hope Kukutchie has found his form this spring, but based on last year, he is a big concern and until he has some real games under his belt, we can only hope. Berrios appears to be at the exact place he was All of Last Season….pretty Scarry, and Bassitt has also struggled with his new team and 34 year old arm. Good thing they signed him for 3 years, and Berrios for 7..sarcasm. They also only have further concerns for any kind of back up with Francis appearing to be the best at least during Spring Training, Pearson, who they have now switched to a reliver, Hatch, and old Jay return Drew Hutchinson…who looked old and tired already this spring. So, they are in deep trouble. We as fans can again only sit back and watch them burn out thier bullpen arms again with such limited SP innings ahead of them just like last year again. At least this will be the end of Atkins, we will have to wait longer for Shapiro to go, as he was brought in to upgrade both Dunedin and the Dome at home…which still has a couple of years left before completion. So sad to watch them blow the window of the core that they claim to have been waiting years for…Vladdy and Bo are both unrrsricted FA’s in ’26. So, hopefully they can win at least a title before then. This won”t be this year again….how could it be based on the same old which has not yet worked for them once already. just nuts! And for those thinking that Ryu and Green being back at the deadline at best, and will be just as good as in the past…we will need a time machine for that to happen. There overspending on FA’s days is also likely on a big pause.and just like when they were shedding their handcuffed older larger players salaries, they just as quickly backfilled this in again to hancuff their future spending again. Go Cleveland! Clearly doing ever better since Shatkins Left now..it has likeky taken them this long to undo the damaged and lack of growth suffered there as well. I hope I am wrong on my predictions, but they will be lucky to get back to a wildcard berth again at this point. wake up Jays Nation and take off your rosey colored glasses and see what is really going on here!
I agree about the starting pitching. Berrios and Bassitt look very hittable, but part of the problem is that it’s a tough sell to get elite players willing to go and play in Canada, which is why they could only get Bassitt. Regardless, this team has more balance..a much deeper pen then in years past..much improved defensively(arguably went from one of the worst defensive outfields to one of the best in all of MLB..and there lineup has much more balance with the added lefty bats. They’re problem b4 was that even though they had tons of power, they were simply too right-handed, which if a good pitcher gets in a groove..he can hit low and away, and basically shut down their lineup because they all look the same. Belt, Varsho and Kiermaher, plus a healthy Biggio will definitely help change that. Personally I would of rather dealt Kirk instead of Moreno, but it is what it is. We overpaid for Varsho and I felt we didn’t get enough for Teo.
j. johna jaymanason
Thanks for the reply. Well, I really do hope you are right 100%. But I cannot see it, and all you have added is what we all alrrady know, and especially what the team has already sold us.I said nothing about their defense or Left vs. Bat, and agree. The top and main issue and concern, is with their suspect starting pitching, and depth, the lack of it!
j. johna jaymanason
Thanks for the reply. Well, I really do hope you are right 100%. But I cannot see it, and all you have added is what we all alrrady know, and especially what the team has already sold us.I said nothing about their defense or Left vs. Bat, and agree. The top and main issue and concern, is with their suspect starting pitching, and depth, the lack of it! You are also Assuming here…. that Bassitt was the only SP willing to come to Canada. Do you know this to be a fact? it was a long FA period with lots of pitchers available…so hard to believe for me. Sorry.
Watched about 14.5 out of 16 Spring Training games in Dunedin. Saw some encouraging signs and some possible warnings. The last two games against the Phillies were interesting. The outfield defensively is much better. Saw a few great assists from KK and Varsho that I could not believe.
Infield defense seemed to struggle without the shift. A lot of balls hit up the middle or just to the first base side of the infield got through. That may just be what happens without the shift or it may be people not wanting to go all out and risk getting hurt.
Pitching was a bit of a mess, but it is hard to evaluate during ST games where the real goal is to not get hurt while getting ready for the long regular season. Bassitt would have good innings and then lose the ability to throw a strike and give up two quick runs. Kikuchi seemed to improve as ST came to an end. Richards was inconsistent. Pearson did not look like a MLB relief pitcher. There would be flashes of brilliance followed by control issues. Tiedemann striking out Baez was amazing. Mayza looked decent as did Romano, but I got the sense neither of them were giving their best for meaningless games when their roster spots are secure.
At the plate, Bichette was locked in. Most everyone else was wildly inconsistent. Springer drove a lot of balls into the turf for easy outs. Same with Vladdy. Some great base running, including double steals and using the runner to force the defense to open gaps in the infield. The running game looks solid.
Not sure what to expect this season. Could be anywhere from 1st place to 4th place.
I’d give the off-season a B
Best overall news is that Rogers is actually spending on the team, that’s encouraging on a go forward basis. Jays tv audience is massive they should be a top spender in this league.
Other good moves, Varsho trade, Belt signing, Bassitt signing
Unsure/maybe bad moves.
KK signing, it cuts Varsho’s value in half and having 2 mostly D valued OFers doesn’t make sense. Teo trade, okay with trading him but getting back a prospect didn’t make sense to me, they should have focused on mlb ready talent
2 things will determine the jays season;
Berrios and Kikuchi both had 5+ eras last year jays need them both to be a lot better to last the season. Rotation depth is not strong
Depth- jays are 2 oft injured players getting injured from having a Biggio, Varsho, Merrifield outfield. Not ideal, wish they addressed the 4th outfielder depth better.
Excited for the season, lots of question marks for the team but should be exciting and this is why they play. My prediction is the Rays win the division with 96 wins, jays and yanks fight for second in the low 90 win range.
One of the best Blue Jays team in history. Lets stay healthy and win the World Series this year!
This is the most balanced and complete-looking roster of the Shaprio/Atkins era. They should be contending for the division title come September.
Berrios and Kikuchi really need to bounce back. Rotation depth beyond the top 5 appears to be a weak spot.
2023 ZiPS projections:
Hutchison: 4.91 ERA
Thompson: 4.60 ERA
Francis: 4.84 ERA
White: 4.49 ERA
But pitching depth is tricky for a lot of teams. The Yankees are already finding out what life will be like with their 6th, 7th, and 8th starters pitching in the rotation. Oof.
Atkins did a terrific job of augmenting the roster in advance of the rule changes. The Jays used a 4 OF shift more than any team in MLB last season (in part to hide Teo and Gurriel’s defensive deficiencies) so an overhaul was absolutely necessary. You can’t get much better than adding Varsho and KK, whilst moving Springer to a less demanding position. A+ on that front.
I know some fans are down on the trade with Seattle, but a high leverage reliever with three years of team control was actually a solid return for one season of a corner outfielder projected to be worth 2.5 WAR. Macko is a nice lottery ticket too.
Like most teams, the Jays will win or lose because of their stars. And luckily they have many. Exciting time to be a Jays fan.
Don Mattingly was the best addition this offseason
I liked a couple of these moves in isolation but did not like the totality of the off-season. I don’t think the balance issue has really been addressed. They got more balanced on the left/right split, but they also put together a collection of guys who struggle to get on base. Belt seemed to be the only guy with the type of profile that would balance the traits of the lineup. And even then, his existence limits the one guy on the team who already provided some of that in Kirk.
The shift towards defensive improvements seems now like an overcorrection. As does the kind of culture shift that seems to be a part of it. There are parts of the team I like and am intrigued by, but I’m definitely not as interested in watching them play. I’m sure others will value the types of people brought in and that’s great. It’s not my cup of tea. Maybe if I give them more of a chance, they’ll grow on me.
to all jays fan good luck this year and good luck in todays game, let’s hope it’s a fun tight game. hopefully a cards win but if my birds lose a tight game i’ll tip my cap to the jays you guys have a really good team