We are getting closer to the start of spring training, and I guess we can call the off-season a bust.
The Athletic has graded the Jays' off-season a D, which seems fair. The odds are slim that a big addition will be made before the end of the season. Cody Bellinger is still out there, but there doesn’t seem to be much chance that the Jays will sign him. And I’m not sure he will be worth the money he’s asking. Matt Chapman is still out there, too, if we want to get the whole band back together (of course, this band’s greatest hits are disappointing, like most bands that do a comeback tour).
The Athletic notes that the team hasn’t filled the hole at second base. I don’t know. I’d be okay with Davis Schneider combined with someone. I’d also be okay with Orelvis Martinez getting a shot at some playing time, either at second or third.
The moves they have made?
- Justin Turner, I’m fine with him being this year’s Brandon Belt.
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa? I don’t understand the point of signing him; we have a dozen utility-type infielders who could likely be replacement-level. It reminds me of the old JP Ricciardi days when we’d sign some replacement-level player and sell him as a gritty winner.
- I like Yariel Rodriguez's signing. He could be a long reliever (if we used any pitcher as a long reliever), spot starter, or insurance for Manoah.
- Bringing back Kevin Kiermaier. He was much better last year than I expected, so, in my world, it becomes a worry that he will have a season far worse than I expect.
Anyway, PECOTA has reasonable hopes for the Jays:
That would be 1.2 games worse than they did last year. I’m curious why they expect the Jays to win more games than the Orioles or Rays but have less chance of a World Series win.
Let’s run a poll:
If the over/under for Jays wins is 87.5 I’d take the
I’m an optimist. I far more often take the over. In this case, I think 88 wins is a good bet. It is a good bet that some of the underachievers from last year will have a better year. Of course, the team had amazing luck with their starting rotation (other than Manoah). Getting that kind of luck again is a long shot.