RUMOR: Blue Jays’ plans for Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien
The Toronto Blue Jays are coming off a very impressive season, despite narrowly missing out on the playoffs. A solid core is intact but two of their most important players are set to become free agents this winter: Robbie Ray and Marcus Semien.
The Blue Jays extended qualifying offers to both, but it’s expected that Ray and Semien will search for a long-term deal instead, whether it’s in Toronto or elsewhere. At the GM meetings, however, the team made it very clear what their stance is when it comes to the two veterans. Via Jon Heyman:
Blue Jays appear aggressive in market. Would love to keep both Ray and Semien, who had superb years after prescient signings by Toronto. Very good team seeks to step forward.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 10, 2021
It’s really no surprise. Ray is an AL Cy Young candidate after a career year with the Blue Jays, posting a 2.84 ERA across 193.1 innings. He also struck out a league-best 248 hitters. Toronto literally inked the southpaw on a one-year, $8 million deal and after emerging as one of the best starters in the bigs, Ray is looking to get paid.
As for Semien, he was electrifying at the plate for a Blue Jays team who boasted one of the best offenses in baseball. He slugged 45 homers, which is the most by a second baseman ever. The infielder also hit .265 with 102 RBIs. Semien got consideration in the AL MVP race and is a candidate to win a Gold Glove at second.
While the Blue Jays do have numerous young players who profile to be the future of the franchise in Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, and Alek Manoah, among others, Semien and Ray were extremely important to their success in 2021. It remains to be seen if the club will be willing to hand them both multi-year deals. Toronto will definitely face competition given they’re two of the hottest FA’s on the market.