Coming into the offseason, no one really expected the Toronto Blue Jays to be huge players in the free agent market. But after signing catcher Russell Martin to an $82-million contract over five years, they are suspected to be in on a few other “big-named” players. One of those being three-time champion Pablo Sandoval. This is surprising, because it was rumored that the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox were the only players involved.
If the Blue Jays were to land Pablo Sandoval and add him to their already talented lineup (even with Melky Cabrera most likely going elsewhere) they still have Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion manning the roster, not to mention newly acquired catcher Russell Martin, who gets the job done behind and at the plate. This would make a huge impact on the American League East as the Red Sox need Pablo Sandoval to take over Will Middlebrooks spot in the lineup in order to return to the top of the division once more.
Although, if the Blue Jays were to swoop in and take him away, they might just take the edge in the division – with the Baltimore Orioles close behind, of course. The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees have some work to do and, I am sure it will not be done this offseason, nothing big at least. The most realistic acquisition I foresee is the Blue Jays pursing is 39-year-old OF Torii Hunter. His personality alone would boost the club’s morale on a daily basis. He is a fairly good hitter, too. Hunter has stacked up 331 home runs in his career and I am sure he could add to the total at the batter-friendly Rogers Centre.
As of right now, I do not know if any of these moves will actually happen. I am sure not even the players involved know at this point. Because of this, it is hard for me to lay down a prediction and feel confident about it. Even the smartest baseball minds could give you their most thought-out prediction using all of their statistics they spent calculating from dusk till dawn, and still be a thousand miles away from what the reality of the season will bring. A calculator itself can not predict that a team’s most valuable player is going to destroy his elbow throwing 200 pitches in a game. It also can not predict that a team’s rookie CF is going to get blinded by the lights and miss a game ending fly ball, resulting in a loss. Baseball is so unpredictable, which is why is it is so special to the millions of faithful fans out there. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a good season.