The Toronto Blue Jays have been busy this offseason, making big time moves to compete in a competitive AL East division. But how good were these moves? We bring you our offseason grades for the Blue Jays’ exciting offseason so far.
Extension: 7 years, $131 million
Extending Berrios in the offseason was huge for Toronto; especially since the Jays gave up a package that included headline names in then-No. 2 prospect Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson (then No. 4). Berrios represents everything the Jays are looking for in a starting pitcher. He’s young, durable, possesses some of the best stuff in the league and will now be the cornerstone of the Jays’ rotation through 2028.
FA Signing: 5 years, $110 million
In one of the bigger deals of the offseason pre-lockout, the Jays secured pitcher Kevin Gausman from the Giants for a good price. Gausman was arguably the second-best pitcher in the world in the first-half of last season, recording a blistering 1.73 ERA. However, he lost some of that elite form in the second-half, recording a 4.42 ERA. If the Jays can get the man who carved apart batters in the first-half, this contract will be one of the biggest steals in the MLB. But if they can get that version of Gausman is the biggest question surrounding the Jays this season.
Trade: INF Kevin Smith, RHP Gunner Hoglund, LHP Kirby Snead, LHP Zach Logue for 3B Matt Chapman
The Jays desperately needed a good glove in the hot-corner, and Ross Atkins delivered. While Chapman’s production has dropped off over his past two seasons, seeing his strikeout rate rise over 12% since 2019, he still has solid pop off his bat and provides a level of defense at third base that very few players in the world can replicate. Even if Chapman’s bat doesn’t go back to his 2019 form, the Jays lineup already possesses enough talent that it shouldn’t prove to be an issue. With two years of team-control left on Chapman's contract and an annual cap hit of $9 million, it's hard to be mad about this trade.
FA Signing: 3 years, $36 million
In a very underrated signing, the Jays acquired 2021 all-star Kikuchi for a good price in free agency. While his production did tail off badly in the second-half (3.48 ERA first-half versus 5.98 ERA second-half), he should slot in nicely as the fifth starter on a Jays rotation that now looks like a top rotation in baseball.
FA Signing: 2 years, $11 million
The Jays acquired a nice piece for their bullpen in Garcia. The seven-year veteran brings a career ERA of 3.60 to the table and is presumed to be a setup man for closer Jordan Romano this season. Garcia recorded 15 saves for the Marlins before being dealt to the Astros last season. It's a low-risk, decent-upside signing for the Jays to bolster their bullpen; probably the weakest part of this squad.
FA Signing: Minor League Deal
As a Jays fan, how can you not be happy right now? Joe Biagini is back! No matter what he does this season, this trade is an A+. Good job Atkins, you did well this offseason.