After 30 games, MLB teams are still collecting information on just about everything: the performance of their current players; the health of their existing list; and the development of the Minor Leaguers, whose season started just a few days ago. It goes without saying that May 7th is far too early to do final evaluations on MLB teams.
But if the teams weren’t doing preliminary assessments, they wouldn’t be doing their job. And while the front offices must use this time of year to set the minor league season in motion and prepare for the amateur draft, improving the big league squad is always a priority for contenders. . No matter what time of year, front office executives are obsessed with the big league roster and how to improve it.
With that goal in mind, the competing teams at least have internal discussions about what they might want to do on the deal deadline. For now, the majority of these discussions are informal in nature, but over the next few months they will lead to professional recognition missions, business investigations and, eventually, agreements.
So what could this mean within the Blue Jays front office? Thirty games in the 2021 season, let’s take a look too early at what team makers should keep on their radar …
The last time the same player started three in a row in third place was in mid-April. Since then, the Blue Jays have rotated three players in the hot corner in search of answers. Now one of those players, Joe Panik, is taking care of the calf tension.
Perhaps a solution will emerge in the coming months, whether it’s Cavan Biggio, who leads the big third baseman in errors, Santiago Espinal, who can line up but brings less offensive rise, or even a prospect like Jordan Groshans.
But it’s also conceivable that no one will do enough to claim the job, in which case the Blue Jays will still be looking for answers in a matter of months. Given that possibility, the Blue Jays should keep an eye out for potential business candidates for the job, including Colin Moran and Kyle Seager, two veterans who strike from the left side, and Kris Bryant, whose offensive rebound performance could make him the stick. more coveted. of summer.
If Nate Pearson returns to rotation at some point over the next week or so, the Blue Jays would be reasonably well positioned in the short term, especially since Steven Matz and Robbie Ray have been helpful contributors behind the staff ace. Hyun-Jin Ryu.
But if the Blue Jays want to turn their rotation from solid to excellent, looking outside the organization makes sense. Last winter, the Padres completely remade their rotation by trading for Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove, and while no one expects this kind of transformation, there is no reason why the Blue Jays don’t start their search with the best options available.
In the short term, an elite starter would make a difference down the straight line and into October. And ideally, that launcher would have control beyond 2021, allowing him to join Ryu, Pearson, and Alek Manoah for several years to come.
Of course, the higher the Blue Jays’ goal, the more chances they will have to surrender, so the small starters should also be evaluated. Even a mid-rotation starter like Kyle Gibson (whom the Blue Jays tried to sign two winters ago) or Andrew Heaney would have the potential to push existing pitching staff in a few months.
At this point, the Blue Jays relievers have been excellent, combining for a 2.40 ERA leading to the MLB. Without this group, the Blue Jays wouldn’t be where they are now.
But let’s be realistic here. Not only is regression coming for a group with a 4.07 xFIP, but injuries affect most teams over the six month season. Julian Merryweather now throws on flat ground, so maybe he returns mid-season, but still. It’s almost impossible for me to imagine scenarios where the Blue Jays don’t need help.
With all of this in mind, the team will want to explore the options that are out there. There is tons of volatility in the relief market, but there is also the possibility of finding impact weapons. And any team that expects to play in October needs as many differentiating factors as possible, so it can’t hurt to have an early read on who those pitchers might be.