Toronto Blue Jays Offseason Tracker and Analysis

The Blue Jays are yet another team heading towards a rebuilding process. Still, the future is bright with the game’s top prospect in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., so Toronto would be wise to trade away major leagues pieces to acquire more young talent to pair with the #1 prospect.

Current State: Rebuilding

Blue Jays Hire Charlie Montoyo as Manager

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The Blue Jays have hired Charlie Montoyo to be their next manager. Montoyo, 53, was the bench coach for the Rays under Kevin Cash last season. Before that, he was their third base coach from 2015-2017. Montoyo also spent 19 seasons in Tampa’s minor league system, and coached the Triple-A Durham Bulls from 2007-2014. He’s also highly regarded as an intelligent baseball mind who would make a really good manager. Well, here’s his chance, and he now has the pressure to help develop the game’s top prospect in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Luckily for Montoyo, his success in the minor leagues should help him when managing Guerrero Jr. and Toronto’s other up and coming young prospects. He also comes from an organization in the Rays who have mastered the art of player development by putting their players in a position to succeed. Montoyo is a risky hire with little experience at the major league level, but similar to Mike Shildt with the Cardinals last season, his experience at the minor league level may prove to be more than enough.

Grade: 8.5/10

Blue Jays Acquire RHP Trent Thornton in Exchange for SS Aledmys Diaz

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The Blue Jays have traded shortstop Aledmys Diaz to the Astros in exchange for pitching prospect Trent Thornton. Thornton, 25, may start the year in the majors next season. He had a unencoruaging 4.42 ERA in Triple-A, but still has some upside. That upside is with his mid 90s fastball, two effective breaking balls to along with solid command. He could become a #4 starter, but his likely struggles to get lefties out without an effective changeup will mean that he’s best suited as a multi-inning reliever. However, those types of relievers are extremely valuable, though Thornton will need to speed up his development before it’s too late for him to make an impact due to his age. Diaz was blocking promising young player Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from starting at shortstop, so he wasn’t needed. Therefore, landing someone who has the upside to be a very valuable asset for them is a smart move for Toronto.

Grade: 8.5/10

Blue Jays Sign SP Matt Shoemaker

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In need of pitching depth, the Blue Jays have signed starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker to a one year, $3.5 million contract. Shoemaker, 32, only started seven games for the Angels last season. In those seven starts, he had a 4.94 ERA with a 1.26 WHIP and a 3.35 FIP. After a terrific 2014 rookie season in which he had a 3.00 ERA, he’s averaged just a 4.45 ERA over the past four seasons. Though he allowed a career high hard contact rate at an alarming 50%, he did strike batters out a career rate (9.6 K/9). There shouldn’t be high expectations for Shoemaker this season, but if healthy he should be a solid back end of the rotation starter. Is that worth $3.5 million? For a rebuilding club in need of any sort of pitching, it likely is.

Grade: 8/10

*Will Be Updated With Every Move The Blue Jays Make

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