3 players the Blue Jays should go after this offseason
Despite a 91-win season, the Toronto Blue Jays missed out on the playoffs by one game in 2021. The Jays haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, but a core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Teoscar Hernandez, and Bo Bichette have fans north of the border excited for what’s to come in the future.
Shortstop Marcus Semien and starting pitcher Robbie Ray both had career years for Toronto this past season, but are free agents. Realistically, Toronto will only be able to sign one of the two. Despite Semien’s love for the Jays clubhouse, All signs are pointing towards 30-year-old Gold Glover heading back to the West Coast as he would prefer to be closer to his hometown of Oakland.
Here are three players the Blue Jays could target this offseason to help put them over the top in 2022:
The Blue Jays attempted to sign Gausman in 2020 before he ultimately went to the Giants, and they’ll likely be in the race to do so again this winter. The 30-year-old is coming off the best season of his career with San Francisco, posting a 2.81 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 33 starts.
Gausman was named to the All-Star team, and will probably finish in the top-five of NL Cy Young voting. While Robbie Ray could fall down back to earth next season, Gausman will likely keep trending upwards.
The Jays front office has liked Gausman for some time now and would be smart to actually replace their 2021 ace for a new one.
The Blue Jays biggest weakness in 2021 was their bullpen, which blew far too many games and ultimately was their kryptonite. Toronto will have to bolster their pen if they want to compete in the always tough AL East.
Jordan Romano is a good option at closer, but the Blue Jays could use an elite setup man like Josh Hader. Hader is one of the best relievers in all of baseball, and is coming off yet another All-Star season where he posted a 1.23 ERA in 58.2 innings pitched.
Hader is not a free agent so the Blue Jays would have to trade for him, but giving up a prospect such as Nate Pearson or Jordan Groshans, in this case, may be worth it.
Toronto is in need of someone in a platoon role with third basemen Santiago Espinal. Espinal was exceptional last year for Toronto but is not an everyday player. Seager would provide solid defense at the hot corner, plus a veteran presence in a young clubhouse.
The Blue Jays could then move Cavan Biggio to second base, where he would be more comfortable. Seager is a high strikeout player, but is coming off a quietly efficient 35 home run season with over 100 RBI’s. The 34-year-old third baseman still has pop, and shouldn’t be too expensive to splurge on from a financial aspect.
Signing Seager may not be the flashiest move, but could Toronto is already loaded with talent. They just need to fill in some gaps, and third base is one of them.