Ross Atkins talked to the press yesterday. Most of what he said isn’t really news to us, but he said that the way Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel and Vladimir Guerrero did this season, it pushed forward the timeline a bit.
Ross suggested that there will be money to be spent this winter. Jays media guys are suggesting $30-40 million. I’ll admit, because I’m a cynic, that it will be at the low end of that, but a lot of money came off the books last year and, since Ross’ contract is up after this coming season, he might want to show some progress next year.
What they need to do with that money?
- Most importantly, they need starting pitching. Preferably two starting pitchers. I don’t imagine Gerrit Cole will be the target (and I can’t imagine Cole would come to the Blue Jays if they did target him). Jake Odorizzi is a possibility. Trades are possibilities. There are a few teams who will be looking to dump salary, so trades will be possible. I see people suggesting David Price. I’m doubtful, but I’m sure the team will look into any pitcher whose team will be motivated to move. With a couple of starters (maybe Matt Shoemaker returning and, hopefully, Nate Pearson making the team at some point), we should have a better rotation than this year. Although, it would be tough to be wor
- A center fielder. Yeah, I’d give the job to Anthony Alford, but it is clear that the team isn’t going to do that. They need someone who can make the plays defensively, and if he could get on base some, that wouldn’t hurt.
- A first baseman. Atkins mentioned someone with some defensive flexibility. Everyone’s suggesting Mike Moustakas, who would fit in great but who knows if he would be interested in coming to Toronto.
- And, as always, relief pitching. I would imagine they will look for a couple of veteran relievers, just like they have in the past, and, if it works out that way, they could flip them at the deadline.
Ross also said that they have to get better at getting on base. Which is much easier said than done.
I’m thinking that this off-season should be more interesting than the last one.