Blue Jays potentially selling their best outfielder would be a shit start to the offseason

The addition of Chase Anderson seemed like a smart, if not uninspired start to the Blue Jays offseason. Now, with Atkins revealing he’s willing to sell Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for pitching, the bullshit train is back in Toronto. Toot, toot, all aboard!

On this week’s episode of “How will Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro alienate the fanbase further” the GM (Atkins), likely under direction from or approved by President (Shapiro), has let it leak that they are willing to shop Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for starting pitching. Before anyone gets their back up about this let’s get things straight.

Yes, I understand that with Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Rowdy Tellez the starting infield is set and Gurriel, if cast as an INF would be a depth guy. And, yes I understand that if you want something good you have to give something good. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue shitting on the front office for this piece of news.

Reclamation Project Turned Gold

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the Blue Jay’s best outfielder. The Cuban former infielder was demoted to AAA Buffalo last season when a case of the yips had him unable to throw across the diamond, costing the Jays more than a few outs. After some reclamation time, Gurriel returned to the big league team… a solid outfielder.

His transition to left-fielder was a tactic to simplify the game for him; track pop-flys, chase down more athletic plays and throw harder from a longer distance. Instead of transitioning this back to the infield the Bisons’ coaching staff let him marinate in the outfield and in a true form of alchemy turned a good offensive/iffy defensive infielder into a high upside/ strong defensive outfielder – exactly what the Jays lack.

Why the hell would you trade one problem area to fix anther problem area?! As it stands, the Blue Jays outfield should stack up as follows LF: Gurriel Jr., CF: Grichuk, RF: McKinney/Fisher. That is far from elite, but Atkins and Shapiro acquired both right-field options and they do have a good eye for young talent (both brought in from the Astros, too).

This team needs a Lorenzo Cain or Dexter Fowler to legitimize the group and shore it up defensively with a captain-esque player. The front office can address this by dipping into the free-agent market. Forget Yasiel Puig for his hot-headedness, or Nick Castellanos for his high price tag; the Jays should add in Avisail Garcia (29), Cole Kalhoun (32), or Corey Dickerson (31), veteran players who can still contribute at an elite level while also being a part of the leadership group for this young core.

Control, Control, Control

We as Blue Jays fans fully understand how much Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro loooooooooove to pinch a penny. Cut ties with big-name players still able to help a team and meltdown the team and bring in fringe players to fill out the roster all to save some money. This has been the strategy for the Jays and it’s been hard to stomach for the most part.

On the other hand, these frugal guys should be all over keeping Gurriel Jr. due to his unreal contract and control. In 2017 he signed a seven-year deal that takes him to 2023 with value increasing from $2.93 million next season to $5.83 million in his final year of the deal.

If not for his refound form, the Jays need to keep a hold of Gurriel Jr. for his control and value deal. The hallmark of the Blue Jays team is similar to that of the Cubs a few seasons ago. They are young, extremely talented, have grown up together, and are primed to make an impact together on a major league roster. Don’t fuck this up, Shapiro and Atkins, just open your wallets for pitching instead of hemorrhaging the already thin outfield.

Blue Jays get to work early, add righty Chase Anderson

In what could prove to be a surprisingly good year for the Toronto Blue Jays, Ross Atkins has started early by acquiring a new starting pitch.

In

Chase Anderson is the Blue Jays’ first addition to the pitching staff in the offseason which is undoubtedly the biggest area of concern for the budding Blue Birds. Coming over from post-season primed Milwaukee, Anderson is going to be bringing a 4.21 ERA with him, inflating his career ERA to a still respectable 3.94.

The 31-year-old vet will be leading a massively green starting pitching core with only Julian Merryweather over 26 years of age. Veteran presence is needed to help shape these kids, but also to potentially turn into playing prospects come the trade deadline if the Jays are going to be sellers.

Thank god the memo is out on the Jays needing starting pitching. It literally couldn’t be worse than it was a year ago with Ryan Borucki hurt, Marcus Stroman traded, and Aaron Sanchez moved on from as well. Hopefully Anderson can steady the ship filled with 20-something millennials.

Out

Ever heard of Chad Spanberger? Me neither. The utility infielder/outfielder was fighting a losing battle trying to get into a supremely talented infield group and likely wasn’t a top choice to duke it out for outfield reps either with the young core of players the Jays have lined up there, too.

The inevitability that is probably unlikely in reality is that we just devalued an infielder and moved on from them only to become another Gio Urshela who forced his way into a ridiculous Yankees lineup this season. I pray this doesn’t happen again, but mentally I’ve accepted that it already has. Regardless, I’ll take Rowdy Tellez over Spanberger any day, and even if he turns out to be a good player, he’s in the NL now, so who cares.

Solid move by the Jays, buying experience for an incredibly cheap price.