Despite a 91-win season, the Toronto Blue Jays missed out on the playoffs by one game in 2021. The Jays haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, but a core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Teoscar Hernandez, and Bo Bichette have fans north of the border excited for what’s to come in the future.
Shortstop Marcus Semien and starting pitcher Robbie Ray both had career years for Toronto this past season, but are free agents. Realistically, Toronto will only be able to sign one of the two. Despite Semien’s love for the Jays clubhouse, All signs are pointing towards 30-year-old Gold Glover heading back to the West Coast as he would prefer to be closer to his hometown of Oakland.
Here are three players the Blue Jays could target this offseason to help put them over the top in 2022:
The Blue Jays attempted to sign Gausman in 2020 before he ultimately went to the Giants, and they’ll likely be in the race to do so again this winter. The 30-year-old is coming off the best season of his career with San Francisco, posting a 2.81 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 33 starts.
Gausman was named to the All-Star team, and will probably finish in the top-five of NL Cy Young voting. While Robbie Ray could fall down back to earth next season, Gausman will likely keep trending upwards.
The Jays front office has liked Gausman for some time now and would be smart to actually replace their 2021 ace for a new one.