With the Toronto Blue Jays just exiting the GM Meetings, it’s far too early to say which direction the club is headed this winter.
There have been no major moves yet, just some roster shuffling and the addition of former-prospect now-journeyman Deck McGuire. Toronto has been linked to Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, but that interest seems more likely to be preliminary price gauging than anything that turns into an imminent signing.
So far, the biggest story of the offseason is where Japanese two-way superstar Shohei Otani will land — if he makes his way across the Pacific at all. Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins has spoken on the record about the possibility of pitching Otani on his organization, but frankly it’s hard to see how.
Toronto can’t offer him the most money, the best chance to win (present or future), or a home nearby the Western seaboard. The team’s highly-touted high performance department didn’t demonstrate any ability to prevent injuries or accelerate recovery so it’s hard to see that as a selling point either.
However, just because a heavily-sedated sloth has a better chance of winning the Kentucky Derby than the Blue Jays have of landing Otani, that doesn’t mean the club is in for a quiet offseason. Below are a number of targets — both free agents and guys available via trade — the Blue Jays could pursue as we get deeper into the winter.
The price of free agents is on a steady upward climb, and the Blue Jays don’t look like they have buckets to spend. With Jose Bautista coming off the books there is a little wiggle room, though. Here are some possible targets by position ranging from the relatively unlikely big-name types to the more plausible, but less exciting options:
The current Blue Jays front office has generally avoiding trading young talent for big-leaguers, but if they want to capitalize on the Josh Donaldson window that could be their best option.
Here are a few guys that could upgrade the current Toronto roster who are likely to be available via trade.
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