Jays From the Couch briefly wonders what the Toronto Blue Jays would look like if they did nothing this offseason
It’s that time of year, and definitely not my favourite when it comes to baseball. The hot takes, the rumors, the drama, all of which just make me long for the season to start and the game to be played. In the spirit of this time, I began to think of what doing nothing would look like for the Toronto Blue Jays. What if they made no acquisitions, no trades, no moves. What would that look like?
There would still be a core team with Russell Martin catching, Justin Smoak at first, Kendrys Morales as the DH, Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, Josh Donaldson at third, Kevin Pillar in center, Devon Travis – if all goes well – at second, otherwise Ryan Goins jumps in again.
Here’s where it gets trickier. In right field the obvious choice is Teoscar Hernandez. In a world without Jose Bautista in a Blue Jays uniform, Hernandez brings a decent bat – not Bautista level – with his defense, and he adds speed to the lineup which was lacking.
That brings us to left field. It’s been a struggle in that corner, and the injury plagued season that was 2017 didn’t help one bit. Steve Pearce had some pretty clutch moments, his bat heating up for a time, but it’s unlikely left field is his alone with Ezequiel Carrera about. Carrera will platoon with Pierce and possibly around the outfield because everybody loves Zeke and he dances in the dugout. True story.
On the mound we have the starting rotation consisting of Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ. The Blue Jays have talent in their rotation with solid track records, albeit when healthy, and that bodes well. Joe Biagini would jump into the fifth starter position. One of the things needed to help Biagini have success as a starter will be to stand by the decision to have him start and not have him bounce back and forth between starter and bullpen.
Nice segue right into the bullpen. It would be made up of RHP Danny Barnes, RHP Ryan Tepera, LHP Aaron Loup, RHP Dominic Leone, LHP Tim Mayza, LHP Matt Dermody, and RHP Roberto Osuna. With some other names to play with that will be a short drive away in AAA in Buffalo, there are other options to make up the loss of Biagini in the pen.
Round the team off with Luke Maile behind the plate catching, as Martin needs a solid backup to ease his load behind the dish. The other option behind the plate is Danny Jansen, but taking some time in Buffalo would benefit Jansen’s game at this stage. Lastly there is Richard Urena, possibly platooning second base with Goins and there you have it. This could very well be the opening day team for the 2018 Blue Jays if they are unable to swing any deals. Think about that.
This is what it would look like if the Blue Jays front office did nothing, and instead of feeling like a contender, it feels more like a bridge team waiting for the likes of Vladdy Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette to come up and take over.
It’s obvious the Blue Jays have to make some moves if they really want to be in contention this coming season, and they have a fan base that fully expects that to be the immediate goal. Coming off such a long post season drought, nobody wants to go there again, and the thought of a year’s long rebuild isn’t attractive either.
What about it Blue Jays fans, is this your team for 2018? Are you willing to wait it out? Are you alright with the Blue Jays doing nothing?
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.