The Toronto Blue Jays may have just won the Major League Baseball’s offseason with news breaking that they have come to terms with superstar outfielder George Springer.
The Jays finished 3rd in the always competitive A.L East division last year. 8 games behind division champs Tampa Bay Rays, and 1 game behind the Yankees. Due to Covid-19, the MLB had a much larger playoff bracket then normal and this meant the Blue Birds still made the playoffs.
Toronto was bounced in the 3-game series 2-0 by the Rays but hey, at least they can claim to be one of MLB’s only ever 8th seed team.
With the amazing crop of young talent (Vladdy Jr, Bo Bichette and Nate Pearson to name a few) coming through the Jays system, I think ownership realizes the time might be now for Canada’s team, and the offseason moves now proves this.
On January 19th, MLB’s official twitter broke the news that the Blue Jays and OF George Springer have come to terms on a deal worth $150 million over 6 years. Springer was the World Series MVP for the infamous Houston Astro’s team that buzzed and drummed the garbage cans all the way to the championship.
All controversy aside, Springer has played 7 seasons in the Majors and has produced some great stats. In 795 games as an Astro, Springer has 832 hits, 174 HRs, 458 RBIs, a career batting average of .270% and a .361% on base percentage. Springer also added 2 Silver Slugger awards and 3 All-Star appearances.
Now with Springer in the picture, just imagine how much fun Charlie Montoyo is going to have filling out the roster card. This is what a potential Blue Jays lineup could look like this upcoming season:
- George Springer (CF)
- Cavan Biggio (2B)
- Bo Bichette (SS)
- Vladdy Guerrero Jr (3B)
- Teo Hernandez (DH)
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr (LF)
- Rowdy Tellez (1B)
- Randal Grichuk (RF)
- Danny Jansen (C)
This is truly a lineup worthy of the powerful A.L East and one that could cause opposing team’s pitchers a lot of problems. There is not an easy out in this batting order and there is a realistic long ball threat from at least 6 or 7 guys from that lineup.This team has the chance to put up some monster stats.
I know that George Springer will get a lot of the spotlight, but there is another key area that GM Ross Atkins has addressed this offseason.
Toronto also unveiled the signing of closer Kirby Yates. Yates didn’t factor much in the 2020 season due to injury, but in 2019 he led the league in saves with 41 and which led to his first All-Star appearance. He had a solid ERA of 1.19, a WHIP of .089 and almost 10-1 strikeouts to walks ratio.
This signing filled a massive hole in the Jays bullpen as Ken Giles recently left the team and last year Toronto had a “closer by committee” style of pen with multiple pitchers picking up saves. Inserting Yates into that closer role should give the rest of the team an extra boost of confidence when going into the 9th inning with a slim lead.
With all the positive moves the Jays front office has been making, plus the continued emergence from young talent, this upcoming season has the potential for this team to really breakout. The Focus for Toronto has now changed from “let the kids develop” to “win now”. The talent is there, now let’s see if Charlie Montoyo can put everything together and deliver Canada it’s first World Series since 1993. Stay tuned Jays fans, this should be a fun season.
Also, check out this episode of the Not Sauce for Work podcast. The HSS boys are chatting all things sports with TSN 690 host and Caribooze pitching coach/ Right Fielder Sean Campbell on this week.