The off-season has been a frustrating one for the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans. Firstly, they missed out on star players Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto, who both signed with other teams after being targets for the Blue Jays. Ohtani signed a historic $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Soto joined the New York Yankees. The Jays have been slow to pivot after these disappointments, with negotiations for new targets not progressing quickly.
The team’s biggest moves so far have been adding Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Kevin Kiermaier to their lineup. However, these players are known more for their fielding than their hitting capabilities. Additionally, several key players from last season, such as Brandon Belt, Matt Chapman, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Jordan Hicks, became free agents. The Jays should consider bringing back Chapman while continuing to explore potential additions like Cody Bellinger and JD Martinez.
Despite the frustrations, optimism remains for the team’s strong pitching staff. Yariel Rodriguez, a Cuban right-hander, was signed to a four-year, $32 million deal, adding depth to the pitching rotation. The quality of the Blue Jays’ roster makes a strong case for them to continue seeking pieces to improve this off-season. The odds of winning the World Series, the AL East, the AL Cy Young, AL MVP, and the AL Hits Leader are all carefully considered.
While the team’s AL Cy Young odds are solid due to pitcher Kevin Gausman’s reliability, the MVP and Hits Leader odds are dependent on players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette returning to form. The team will need to consider further additions to ensure a competitive edge in the tough American League division. The off-season remains a critical period for the Blue Jays as they seek to strengthen their roster for the upcoming season.