5 Realistic Moves the Toronto Blue Jays Could Make This Offseason
5 Realistic Moves For the Toronto Blue Jays
Even though this past Toronto Blue Jays season was what most would call an absolute disaster, Blue Jays fans have reason to move on and believe that the baseball gods may actually shine on them once again in the very near future. It's time for General Manager Alex Anthopoulos' favorite time of the year. It's the MLB offseason.
Although Anthopoulos doesn't make the big splashes when it comes to free agency, he has proved in the past that he likes to stay active while always having each and every one of his players available on the market. He listens to all offers, all the time, just in case he happens to stumble across a deal that could either shock the baseball world or barely make waves at all.
No matter how big or small the moves he makes turn out to be, Anthopoulos knows very well that he has some work to do this offseason if he wants to prove the naysayers wrong and field a team that has a legitimate chance to win in 2014.
This past season, there were players that impressed alongside more that failed. Things need to and will happen. Even the simplest of moves could help a Blue Jays team that always seems to be riddled with injuries while sporting an underachieving rotation by season's end. This is why Blue Jays fans seem to live for the offseason. Here are five very realistic moves that Anthopoulos could make this offseason while trying to strengthen his ball club for 2014.
5. Getting Rid of Ricky Romero
Ricky Romero has got to go. It's not only the severe decline of his performance that should make the Blue Jays want to give him away for a bag of baseballs, it's the lack of accountability he displays after his countless number of poor performances.
Expect Romero to be gone very soon while of course not getting much in return. However, with him out of the picture, the Blue Jays as a whole are in a much happier and positive place.
4. Extending Brett Lawrie's Contract
Brett Lawrie proves over and over again that with his contagious energy and the high level of defensive talent that he brings to the table, he is much deserving of a contract extension in Toronto. Along with being a fan favorite, he wants to win in Toronto. He also provides a lot of stability and versatility to the infield in a style of play that isn't seen all that often. Expect Anthopoulos to ink Lawrie for another 3-4 years and help continue to shape arguably the most exciting left half of any infield in baseball.
3. Upgrading the Middle of the Infield
This is a no brainer. The Blue Jays need to find a second baseman that fits well into their potent lineup. This is where Anthopoulos could get creative.
Traditionally a shortstop, Jhonny Peralta is a free agent and he could be on the market for relatively cheap. If the Blue Jays were to acquire Peralta, someone who would fit nicely in the middle of their order, perhaps they could either convince Lawrie or Jose Reyes to make the switch to second base and have Peralta play either shortstop or third. With the versatile infield that the Blue Jays already have, there is room for maneuvering and other options. Especially if one of those options is going to make the team better overall.
2. Upgrading Their Rotation
What was supposed to be the most dominant part of their whole team, the Blue Jays pitching rotation proved to be worse than anyone could have imagined in 2013. After not giving Josh Johnson a qualifying offer, Anthopoulos made it clear that changes to the rotation were coming and that they were going to come fast. Expect at least 1-2 additions to the rotation and perhaps an exit from someone else in Anthopoulos' efforts to make up for last seasons poor performances.
1. Getting Rid of J.P. Arencibia
Letting go of J.P. Arencibia is something that has been long overdue. Although he played a lot more games, Arencibia's season was similar to that of the one had by Romero. There wasn't any sense of urgency to improve while again having a lack of accountability for his often lackluster performances.
Anthopoulos knows that a competitive team starts with a solid catcher. Someone who can call a great game and contribute with the bat as well. Arencibia lacks the maturity needed to lead from behind the plate. Expect Arencibia to be part of a package deal that sends him elsewhere to free up space on a team that needs to go in the opposite direction with their catching situation. Anything other than him would do at this point.