Jays From the Couch compiles a list of Toronto Blue Jays offseason rumours we DO NOT want to hear
The Toronto Blue Jays General Manager, Ross Atkins has his work cut out for him over the next 5 months. How does he take a well below .500 team and turn them into the competitive group that makes the postseason in 2018? It won’t be easy. Granted, health will play a significant factor in this team’s future. Devon Travis, Troy Tulowitzki and Aaron Sanchez would be huge additions to this club where they weren’t really contributors at all in 2017.
Depth will be a major priority for the Blue Jays in 2018. Filling holes created by injuries is something that was shown to be a major weakness this season. The front office will need to figure out how to fill those potentially empty spots. But, beyond those roster spots, there will be some real decision making to be done. How does this franchise move on from Jose Bautista?
His absence will leave a giant hole in the lineup, the outfield and in the clubhouse. And, I’m not interested in the ‘he left a giant hole this season’ narrative. He will need to be replaced, whether by promoting someone who may, or may not, be ready for a big league job. The starting 5 may need some attention, as will who lies in wait beyond them. The bullpen appeared to be strong this season, even if it was a revolving door. There are some good looking young pieces, but that doesn’t mean the ‘pen can be ignored.
So, there is lots of work to do. Because of that, there will be numerous offseason rumours flying around. It happens every year. We should probably brace ourselves. Even though we expect them, there are bound to be those whispers of “interest” and “possible fits”, some of which will make you cringe, roll your eyes, or straight up vomit.
* For example, Bob Nightengale got an early start on the action:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 29, 2017
There are just so many things one could say about this. This might rank very high on our list of rumours we DO NOT want to hear. Any team “strongly pursuing” Donaldson is not good news. But, the reality is that we should probably get used to Josh Donaldson‘s name being thrown around. Whether it makes sense, or not, people will be dying to get a scoop on the Blue Jays trading an MVP candidate in the final year of his contract. Of course, Toronto could do us all a favour and spare us these rumours by extending The Bringer of Rain…
* Along the same lines, we DO NOT want to hear any ‘Team X is interested in Roberto Osuna‘. I mean, I get it. The guy has come close to 40 saves this season. Yes, he’s blown his share (10, to be exact), but a 22 year old, who has been so good at the back end of the bullpen for a few years is bound to be of interest to just about every team out there.
But, in no means should we think for a hot second that the Blue Jays will be interested in anyone else’s interest. He will make a significant amount more in 2018 thanks to his first year of arbitration, but that doesn’t mean he will be priced out of Toronto’s desire to hold on tight to him. As with Donaldson, trading Osuna would fly in the face of the whole “competing in 2018” thing. There likely doesn’t exist a scenario where you trade your MVP caliber third baseman, and/or your elite level closer and make yourself better immediately.
* Next on our list of rumours we DO NOT want to hear: Jay Bruce. We have been hearing his name linked to the Blue Jays for far too long. He will be a free agent this offseason, which at the very least the Blue Jays wouldn’t be giving up any prospect capital to finally land him. And, in all honesty, I can see why people might be interested in him.
He’s a lefty bat who is sitting on 35 HR and 97 RBI (at the time of writing). His slash line is certainly better than Bautista’s this season. Some would cal him an upgrade. Here’s the thing: he’s not. The 30 year old lefty bat is a guy who will strike out at a ~25% clip, he put up a BsR value of -2.1, 2.6 Spd (slower than Bautista). He made roughly the same amount of contact in 2017 as Bautista did. Think about that. His defense isn’t as bad as one might think, though. Playing RF (the only position where he put up any positive value), he was worth 6 DRS.
Here’s the real issue: At 30 yrs old, he’ll be looking for a few years and a dollar amount that rewards his approximately 2+ win performance. That would put him around $15M per year. Do we really want the Blue Jays to sink that kind of money into an aging outfielder when they have young, controllable options already in hand? The answer is no, by the way.
* Next rumour we DO NOT want to hear this winter: Curtis Granderson. Less power than Bruce, more speed, better walk rate, more range in RF, but 36 years old. Do we really need to say more? He’s not really a guy who fits the “younger, more versatile” goal current management have been touting.
* How about: Bautista to the Yankees…or Red Sox. While these options may not seem overly likely, they would still sting for a good many fans. It isn’t hard to imagine a team taking what they would call a ‘flyer’ on Jose, but if it is any team, can we at least cross our fingers that it is a team that we don’t have to watch 18 times a year? The Yankees and Red Sox are likely not going to bring in an aging slugger coming off a bad year. But, that doesn’t mean we’re OK with hearing any rumour of this ilk.
Which Blue Jays Offseason rumours do you NOT want to hear? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comment section!
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.