The Toronto Blue Jays showed some promise in 2021 but if the team wants to show that they believe in this group, they should be putting in the investment.
While baseball takes a bit of a pause with the lockout between MLB and the players, it provides us time to reflect on what the Toronto Blue Jays were able to accomplish in 2021.
They made the big splash to sign George Springer in free agency showing everyone that they are willing to do what it takes to land a prominent name in free agency. Adding him to an emerging core led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, it was hard to not be excited.
It was another rollercoaster season in 2021 with the team forced to start their season on the road looking for temporary homes in Florida and Buffalo before finally returning home in September. Unfortunately, a heartbreaking end to their season left many fans disappointed but optimistic at the same time.
Not being able to reach the post-season after Robbie Ray won the AL Cy Young along with Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien having MVP calibre seasons was a tough pill to swallow. At the same time, coming up short like that provides an incentive for the team to push forward and improve the roster.
Jose Berrios was given a significant pay raise after Toronto paid a big price to acquire him at the trade deadline then Kevin Gausman was brought in when it was clear that Ray would be heading elsewhere. It was clear that the front office was looking to improve the team rather than run it all back.
This means that when the time comes and the free agents look who didn’t sign before the lockout look to find jobs, the Blue Jays will need to check off some items off the to-do list. Whether that is adding depth to the backend of the bullpen, adding another starter and try to look for a permanent solution at second base.
There will be options including the often rumoured Jose Ramirez if the Blue Jays want to make another big splash. One thing will be clear, how the front office approaches this season will show whether they are willing to push more chips into the pot to compete now.
Investment can’t just be made on the field as Rogers Centre set for facelift
There is no better place for a team to have a stadium than where Rogers Centre is in downtown Toronto.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ownership is leaning towards renovating Rogers Centre rather than building a new ballpark. There are certainly more hurdles towards building a new stadium and while newer is usually the way to go, there appear to be too many headaches when it comes to dealing with the different levels of government.
A $200 million to $250 million renovation is certainly significant when you consider the long list of improvements the Blue Jays likely want to make. Fan experience is definitely one that can’t be ignored including some new seating, improving the concourse area and more modern upgrades.
What this shows is that the Blue Jays are finally willing to put forth the investment that fans have been begging for. In the end, any improvements they can make will complement the direction the team is going in while ensuring that they are maximizing revenues.
What are you looking forward to with the Blue Jays in 2022? Can the team continue to make improvements with the roster and what do you think the team has in store with the roster heading into next season? Let us know in the comments below.