The Toronto Blue Jays made a big splash signing Hyun-Jin Ry but if they want to show they are serious about contending they need to do more.
Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have been taking heat for years because they haven’t been able to make the big splash in free agency but this time around free agents have noted the team’s persistence as a reason for their decision to sign in Toronto.
Considering what the progress made last season with young prospects like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio making their way to the big leagues, management knew they couldn’t just sit and wait to see what would come next. They had to show not only the fanbase but the core players on the team that they are worth investing in.
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One sign that things could be going in a different direction is hearing Boras talk about this front office being serious and open about their interest in Ryu. Considering the team’s past dealings with the top agent in baseball, this is a step in the right direction considering this team could be in a position to try and sign other clients down the road.
Of course, that is the question that still faces the Blue Jays. What does this signing mean and what comes next?
Before signing Ryu, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Blue Jays were considering a trade for David Price if the Boston Red Sox were willing to pay part of his salary remaining. After signing Ryu to $20 million per season, the last thing Toronto wants is a potential anchor of Price’s deal which he is set to make $32 million over the next three seasons.
Getting Ryu puts the Blue Jays in a better position to compete but it’s still not going to be enough to go up against the AL East on a consistent basis. Maybe Nate Pearson can eventually make his way up but that’s asking a lot from a 23-year-old prospect. If the team is able to add one more starter they will certainly be in a better position to compete for a Wild Card spot.
The team also needs to address the outfield considering they haven’t found someone that can consistently play centre field. They have Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Derek Fisher, Anthony Alford, Billy McKinney, and Jonathan Davis as options but none of those seem like enticing everyday players for the most important position in the outfield.
On top of that, the team needs to put together a competent bullpen which might get a boost from Shun Yamaguchi but they will need a setup man to replace Ryan Tepera. Whether that person is on the 40-man roster or not remains to be seen but Toronto still has a long way to go even though the Ryu signing brought some much-needed excitement.
What did you think about the Ryu signing? What do the Blue Jays need to do next? Let us know in the comments below.