Ross Atkins continues to say the right things ahead of free agency as the Toronto Blue Jays look to find the pieces to push them forward.
You get the sense that the Toronto Blue Jays are no longer interested in making moves that slightly push the needle forward, Ross Atkins has made that quite clear actually.
The Blue Jays general manager spoke ahead of MLB’s annual meeting with baseball executive as teams try to lay the groundwork for the off-season. Toronto realizes the chance to add a player who can provide significant value but adding a big fish from what looks like a not-so-deep pond won’t be easy either.
"“We’re focused on the calibre of acquisitions and looking for guys that can make real impact,” Atkins told reporters. “Everyone makes a real impact, (but) a little bit more significant to move the needle in ways that are more than complementary.”"
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Reading this, fans will believe that the Blue Jays are looking to add players like Trevor Bauer, D.J. LeMahieu, George Springer, James Paxton or Francisco Lindor. Those players certainly fall into the category of being able to make a real impact but again, it also depends on who the front office deems as a real impact.
Looking at the roster, you can see the areas where the team will be looking to make those additions. Getting a bonafide elite starter appears to be at the top of the list which is why Bauer is the ideal target considering he can provide the innnings and production that would pair well with Hyun-Jin Ryu and take the pressure off Nate Pearson to fill that role.
Going after players like Springer or Jackie Bradley Jr., who are reportedly at the top of the Blue Jays’ list, are the exact type of targets the team needs to circle for the outfield. Getting one of them would push players into positions they are more suited for and provides depth that most teams covet.
Then there is the need to improve the defensive depth in the infield especially at the corners and potentially at shortstop. We have heard about the rumours for Lindor but the price is something that could be tough to get around, and apparently, the team remains interested in Andrelton Simmons who was a potential target before the trade deadline.
All this to say that this will be one of the more intriguing off-seasons since 2015 when you consider all the hype and potential.
Do you expect the Blue Jays to be active in free agency? Who should the team make their top target? Let us know in the comments below.