The last two seasons have certainly been a turning point for the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club.
The team made appearances in postseason play in both 2015 as well as 2016, however, have never made it past the American League Championship Series and onwards to the Fall Classic in October since Joe Carter last finished it off back in 1993.
After finishing the 2016 season with a record of 89-73, the Toronto Blue Jays advanced to the first round of postseason play where they took on the Baltimore Orioles, who they beat in walk-off fashion in extra innings. They then proceeded to beat the Texas Rangers in a three-game sweep. Toronto threw all they had at it which pushed them into the following round against the Cleveland Indians who they eventually fell to, ending their season.
Now that it's all over, what is to come could be quite interesting to say the least given team president Ross Atkins and general manager Mark Shapiro have left the team fully in doubt.
That being said, the contracts of both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion came to an end, which left several holes to be filled and very few options to choose from.
As there seemed to be a feeling that an Encarnacion return would be rather difficult, the first move made brought over veteran infielder Kendrys Morales who agreed to terms on a three-year, $33 million contract back on November 18.
Just weeks later as the outfield then became the organization's next main focus, interest was brewing in Steve Pearce, who plays both infield and outfield, which was looked at as a move of great depth potential. Pearce was signed on December 5 to a two-year, $12.5 million deal with the original idea of starting in right field.
Since that time, only two other transactions have occurred, however, both of minor sorts, as youngsters T.J. House and Jeff Beliveau signed deals with spring training invites following the St. Louis Cardinals agreement with veteran southpaw Brett Cecil to a four-year, $30.5 million contract on November 19.
As it stands right now, discussions of a one-year deal do exist with Bautista, as Jon Morosi reports, however, nothing is imminent for the time being.
As for other future trades that have caught such attention, things could still be brewing within the front office as a trade for Andrew McCutchen has been spoken about with the Pittsburgh Pirates, though no traction has picked up since conversation began. Earlier in the offseason, the club had been linked to New York Mets' outfielder Jay Bruce, who the club tried to acquire last winter in a three-team trade that fell through.
A backup catcher could also be useful to assist the likes of gold-glove backstop Russell Martin, who begins his third season in a Blue Jays uniform when pitchers and catchers arrive at the club's spring training facility — Florida Auto Exchange Stadium — come the beginning of March. Potential cheap options on the open market include Geovany Soto, Nick Hundley and Hank Conger.
Stay tuned to hardballScoop for regular updates on the Toronto Blue Jays who continue to keep their eyes out for the big targets as they seek a third consecutive run in October ball, with hopes of further success yet to arise.null