The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays are gradually becoming easier to envision. Their first acquisitions of the winter, Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte, will provide depth behind the vulnerable middle infield duo of Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis. Curtis Granderson, who’s all-but-officially signed to a one-year, $5 million deal, profiles as a platoon bat who will get most of his playing time against right-handed pitching. The Blue Jays’ latest acquisition, Randal Grichuk, becomes the leading candidate to start in right field. “He’ll have the best chance of our group to take that position over,” GM Ross Atkins said. As a result of these moves, the Blue Jays are a backup catcher away from having a solid collection of big-league position players. Their pitching staff appears more vulnerable, however, especially because Atkins had to part with reliever Dominic Leone and right-handed pitching prospect Conner Greene to obtain Grichuk from St. Louis. From here on, Atkins expects the club to prioritize pitching, with starters and relievers on the club’s radar. “I think we could add in both places,” he said. That much appears undeniable. The Blue Jays’ projected rotation now includes Aaron Sanchez, who was limited to just eight starts in 2017 because of ongoing blister and fingernail issues, and Joe Biagini, who posted a 5.73 ERA in 18 starts with a dropoff in peripheral stats. The Blue Jays can’t be completely sure what to expect from either starter entering the 2018 season, and while their triple-A depth has improved compared to this time last year, the addition of an established big-league starter would undoubtedly improve the club’s chances.
Blue Jays must now shift focus to improving pitching
Sportsnet | Jan 20