I can’t believe I’m writing this, but George Springer is a Toronto Blue Jay (pending a physical).
The Blue Jays have been the runners up to other teams who have acquired exciting players all Winter. While all of the “Jays were in the mix” tweets felt like mini-gut punches, I held out hope for the one player I really hoped the Jays would sign.
the Blue Jays were reportedly or made real efforts on:— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) January 20, 2021
- Joe Musgrove at the Aug. 31 deadline
- Kevin Gausman before he accepted the QO
- Ha-seong Kim
- Tomoyuki Sugano
- Francisco Lindor
- Liam Hendriks
- D.J. LeMahieu
...with nothing to show for it
this would be great https://t.co/ArdLPRpeEk
Late Tuesday night, Brendon Kuhn, a faithful member of Blue Jays Twitter, broke the news that George Springer has a deal with Toronto.
Source: #BlueJays and George Springer in agreement, pending physical— Brendon Kuhn (@_bkuh_) January 20, 2021
Then, we sat refreshing Twitter for a few hours until these tweets starting pouring in:
Sources: #BlueJays now are the frontrunners to sign George Springer. @_bkuh_ and @RadioVendetta each have reported tonight that the Jays and Springer have a deal in place pending a physical exam. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 20, 2021
source confiirms multiple reports: #BlueJays are closing in on George Springer.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 20, 2021
Outfielder George Springer and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a deal, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 20, 2021
Springer is headed to Dunedin for a physical. And if all goes according to plan, Toronto will get the star it’s been looking for all winter.
Springer and Jays agree at $150M for 6 years— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 20, 2021
This gives Springer an AAV of $25M/year, which is an extraordinary payday and a rarity for the Jays’ front office.
Springer and the Blue Jays were a logical fit. The Jays could absolutely use an upgrade in center field and have money to spend. Springer is one of the best hitters in baseball. He’s a three-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and received MVP votes in three of his last four seasons. Springer is projected by Fangraphs to be worth around 4.0 WAR in 2021.
Springer has only posted an OPS under .800 once in his career, and his offensive performance hasn’t dwindled since the Astros trash can banging scheme ended. Springer has a slash line of .276/.363/.512 since 2017, good for an average OPS of .875 and a 138 wRC+.
Springer declined the Astros $18.9M qualifying offer, and the Jays will be required to surrender their second-round draft pick to Houston.
It will be interesting to see what this means in terms of the rest of the Jays offseason. Are they out of money now for Bauer? Will Grichuk or Gurriel be on the move, perhaps for a starter?
This is truly a thrilling day. Enjoy this news, all. Things like this don’t happen too often.