blue jays hot stove

Blue Jays, 3B & Band Aid Options

This offseason will see the Blue Jays connected to a number of targets as they improve their team. Because of this, they may consider a Band Aid solution at the hot corner


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The Toronto Blue Jays will need to figure out what to do about third base in 2022. With a return to health, Cavan Biggio should also return to second, so he is not a viable option.  The efforts the club is putting into bulking up their pitching may require enough resources that a more ‘elite’ option for the Hot Corner may not be in the cards. Toronto also has a few prospect options that could be ready in a year or so. For these reasons, they may need to consider a Band Aid solution.

 

This time of year allows for fans to dream on certain acquisitions. Whether it is a Hall of Famer like Max Scherzer or a superstar like Jose Ramirez, there is no shortage of “Can you imagine if they got so and so?” commentary at this time of year. That is especially true of the current Blue Jays since they are in a perfect position to strike big on a number of fronts and challenge for a division title and a World Series.

 

But, with these big dreams also comes big costs. The extension of Jose Berrios, while a very smart deal, highlights the high cost of high end talent. With a rotation still incomplete and a return of Cy Young Award Winner, Robbie Ray, still up in the air, there is more work to do. There is also work to be done in the bullpen. So, it stands to reason that, as much as I way want JRam or Matt Chapman playing in Toronto in 2022, the resources may not be there to make that happen. Now, I believe there is enough resources to do everything Toronto wants to do, but the front office may disagree with me.

 

For example, if Toronto wants to try and trade for Luis Castillo, whether he’s actually available or not, they will have to be OK with giving up a significant package of prospects and maybe even some big league talent. Castillo is, of course, just one example but does illustrate the capital Toronto would have to part with. For what it’s worth Baseball Trade Values says that the hypothetical package I put together of Alejandro Kirk, Jordan Groshans and Nate Pearson would not be enough to land Castillo. If Toronto took on the money of a Mike Moustakas (to play third) the package could be different, I’m sure. But, regardless, the cost will be huge.

 

So, it isn’t crazy to suggest a Band Aid option be used. On the open market, there are a few. Travis Shaw, Jake Lamb and Josh Harrison are available. They would certainly be low cost options, but probably not ones that would excite anyone. There are others out there like Kyle Seager, Eduardo Escobar or even Jonathan Villar. I’d say Villar is probably in the same group as Shaw. Seager would be an interesting option. He’d bring power and passable defense, but that’s about it.

 

If these are the Band Aid options, Toronto might as well continue rolling with its own internal option in Santiago Espinal and save the money. Espinal won’t hit 30 home runs, but he will play good defense and hit enough to hold down the position as evidenced by the work done by our Jim Scott in THIS PIECE. Steamer projects that Espinal will hit 6 HR with a line of .269/.326/.376 and put up a wRC+ of 90 and 1.4 fWAR. Obviously, Steamer doesn’t buy his 2021 numbers. But, even if the projection turns out to be 100% accurate, the Blue Jays have an offense that can carry Espinal’s bat in favour of his glove and saving that extra money.

 

A while back, I wrote that Espinal has to be a distant Plan B and I still believe that. My preference is to throw caution to the wind and trade for a JRam or Chapman. But, as costs start to pile up and the Blue Jays address their need for pitching, the reality is that they may need to go with Espinal until guys like Jordan Groshans, Orelvis Martinez or even Gabriel Moreno (who has been seeing time at 3B in the AFL) are ready to take the job. That would be the long term play for this team. In the short term, they may need to go with a Band Aid to start the 2022 season in order to hold on to that long term play.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

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Shaun Doyle

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.