I can confidently say that the 2018 offseason is going how every fan thought it would be for Jays: slow. The Blue Jays have never really made the biggest splashes in the offseason, except in 2012 when they pulled off the mega-trades (if you have no idea what I am talking about, Google it because it is pure genius). While they have not made a big splash, they have made some moves, and I want to talk about them.
This move is one that I saw coming, but not in how it occurred. I imagined a scenario where both parties would be trading veterans with an overpaid salary and money flying in both directions. Think of Carlos Santana this offseason, and how he was a trade target after the World Series ended. It is no secret that the Blue Jays had a crowded infield, even after they traded Aledmys Diaz to the Astros. The Blue Jays are looking to get younger, and considering Troy did not play a single game last year, he was going to be an expensive bench player.
I truly feel bad for Tulowitzki. He was doing great things for the Rockies and when he first came to the Jays. After his first season in a Jays uniform, he just could not stay on the field with various injuries (shoulder, hamstring, quad). In his 2018 season he underwent surgery for bone spurs. After a quick Google search, I uncovered the main cause behind bone spur development is outside factors, rather than something he could control. From all accounts, it also sounds like Tulo was a hard worker and a “clubhouse” kind of guy, so I really hope someone takes a flyer on him and he can resurrect his career. Rooting for you number 2.
So far this offseason, the Blue Jays have acquired: Trent Thornton (Astros) and Oliver Drake (Waivers from the Rays). That is it. They did select Elvis Luciano in the Rule 5 draft, but those seldom work out. Again, the Blue Jays have gotten lucky with some sticking around, but the vast majority end up going back to their original teams.
Speaking of the Rule 5 Draft, I hate to say it, but I hope Jordan Romano gets sent back. I thought Jordan had a lot of potential, and it sucked seeing his name show up in the draft. Rooting for you Jordan (or against, whichever gets you back to the Jays).
Over the past five years, the Blue Jays have not really signed any big names during the offseason. Happ and Estrada were big signings, but they really are no big names. The Jays, instead, like to trade during the offseason, rather than free agency. If you are a Jays fan, I wouldn’t be expecting to add a Harper or Machado jersey to your repertoire.
The Blue Jays are upgrading their stadium, but it is south of the border. Over the course of 2019, the Jays will be upgrading their training facilities in Dunedin, Florida, with a cool $80 Million USD investment (which is not all coming from the Blue Jays or Rogers I might add). This investment should bring a pretty out-dated facility into the modern era, with the facility being used 365 days a year, rather than a spring training facility.
I personally like this investment. The Jays did a ton of research and are using a group that has designed other facilities for MLB teams, so I think they are going about it the correct way. You can read more about it on Sportsnet.
There has been a lot of speculation that the Jays may trade some of their young starters. I am not a fan of this trade scenario at all. Trading someone like Sanchez or Stroman, when control is so key in the game, seems like an awful scenario, unless the Blue Jays win the trade times ten (which has not occurred as of lately… sorry Atkins). Considering the Blue Jays are wanting to become a younger team, I think these two players may play a key role in this transition.
I also believe that the outfield is becoming a bit overcrowded – mostly due to players that may be out of options or have been on the cusp of being major league players, such as: Alford, Pompey, and Smith Jr. Don’t get me wrong, these are great players, but the outfield seems pretty set at this point barring a trade (which if I had to guess, it would probably be Pillar).
When all is said in done, the Jays will for sure be a younger team this year. Statistically, the team may also have a bit of a down year as these players get their feet wet in the major leagues (Shapiro is even predicting a decrease in attendance).
At-least we have April 19th to look forward to: Vladimir Guerrero Jr Day.