The Blue Jays were already expected to increase their payroll after a very encouraging 2021 season, but the offseason to date has offered mixed signals on the height of the payroll. Despite awarding a large dollar contract to Kevin Gausman (and a smaller dollar contract for Yimi Garcia), the organization has already seen its top three free agents sign rich contracts elsewhere.
The Jays ended the 2021 season with $ 154 million in salary obligations, according to Cot contracts. Including arbitrage projections, RosterResource currently places Toronto’s payroll, for luxury tax purposes, at $ 161 million. The Nicholson-Smith report, however, indicates that the $ 161 million mark may continue to be pushed back.
It’s also worth noting that the Jays’ most likely trading tokens entering the offseason were believed to be of the catcher variety. Many teams have now chosen the receiving market cleanly, with the Yankees and perhaps the Guardians as the only contenders left with questions for the position. Intra-division trade seems unlikely and the Blue Jays certainly have potential non-catcher capital to deal with, but a lack of demand for one of Toronto’s most abundant resources may push them to upgrade through an agency. free.
Fortunately for the 91-winning team, the free agent market still has options for a front office looking to upgrade their infield. Kris Bryant and, if he is open to a change of post, Trevor’s story can be obtained at the right price to cover third base. If Toronto is aiming for more modest spending, they can also target left-handed batting Kyle Seager or get together with a switch Jonathan Villar complimenter Santiago Espinal in the warm corner. These latter two options would serve as insurance in the event that Espinal is unable to build on its strong performance in 2021 or Cavan Biggio fails to bounce back.
The pitch market is less rich in options but continues to grow at various price levels. Carlos Rodon and Kenley Jansen represent two players who, for a bonus, can help anchor a rotation and a pen, respectively. Search in Danny Duffy or old friend Ryan Tepera would perform a similar function for a lower cost, if the Jays prefer to distribute their funds more equitably.
Of course, just yesterday it was reported that Toronto has shown interest in lefties Yusei Kikuchi (courtesy from Jon Heyman of the MLB Network). For reference on how much the southpaw can cost, MLBTR predicted a two-year, $ 20 million contract for the starting pitcher. Yesterday’s report, however, described a competitive market for lefties, with several three-year offers that could change the projected amount it might take to sign Kikuchi. No matter who pursues the best baseball team north of the border, it’s clear that they’ll be active the next time they are able to do so.