The Toronto Blue Jays made their decision on qualifying offers for Marcus Semien, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz as they move forward with their off-season plan.
It was decision day for MLB teams who had to make qualifying offers for their top free agents and the Toronto Blue Jays made theirs.
Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray were extended offers but the team ultimately decided that Steven Matz wasn’t worth one. Really there isn’t a major surprise here considering the Blue Jays want to ensure they get something for their prized free agents.
There will be a lot of eyes on what happens with Ray and Semien considering they are two of the top names in free agency. The Blue Jays are expected to be in the mix for both but already know that there is a number they will be willing to pay each of them.
Let’s not forget that both Ray and Semien delivered elite seasons for a combined $26 million. At $5.2 million, Matz certainly provided great value in the rotation but would he be worth the $18.4 million salary he could have gotten in a qualifying offer?
It’s certainly a decision Toronto wasn’t willing to roll the dice on as they apparently tried to get Matz signed to a multi-year deal. This would have likely come below the $18.4 million per season.
Toronto Blue Jays will likely need to think about alternative options in free agency
Everything Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have said up until now suggests that the team isn’t going to use all their effort to bring back Semien and Ray. This is not to suggest that they don’t value them but they know they have to improve in multiple areas.
Ray is on track to win the AL Cy Young award which means he’ll be receiving a lot of interest from teams that need an ace. The Blue Jays would like to have him back but also have to remember that they need to strengthen their rotation and bullpen, so can they afford to give Ray a massive payday?
The same can be said about Semien who probably has a few items on his wishlist for a team he wants to sign with. One of those could be moving him back to shortstop even though he was a more-than-capable second baseman.
Having Semien and Ray return next season ensures that the Blue Jays don’t take a step back but just doing that alone won’t improve this team’s chances. This is the balancing act the team has to figure out.
What do you think the Blue Jays should do with Ray and Semien in free agency? Did they make the right move not qualifying Matz? Let us know in the comments below.