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Toronto Should Sign A Free Agent Slugger/Leadoff Guy Then Flip Encarnacion: Blue Jays State Of The Union 2016

The Blue Jays ended the longest MLB playoff drought in 2015 - and made it to game 6 of the ALCS. With losing David Price and Mark Buehrle after this year, how should the team work this off year? I say they should treat 2016 as World Series or bust. Sign a bopping Left Handed Bat, or at least a left handed Leadoff Batter, and then trade everyone they possibly can at the Deadline for a run at the World Series. After next season, Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Bats are also Free Agents. More onus to go for it this upcoming year.

The Blue Jays ended the longest MLB playoff drought in 2015 – and made it to game 6 of the ALCS. With losing David Price and Mark Buehrle after this year, how should the team work this off year? I say they should treat 2016 as World Series or bust. Sign a bopping Left Handed Bat, or at least a Lef Handed Leadoff Batter, and then trade everyone they possibly can at the Deadline for a run at the World Series. After next season, Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Bats are also Free Agents. More onus to go for it this upcoming year.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Jays are coming off an awesome year for the franchise.  Yet all of this coincided with them losing GM Alex Anthopoulos and may see David Price and Mark Buehrle not return in 2016.

This offense and fielding defense is hands above the rest of the Division right now.  With the Yankees holding off father time in 2015, they may not be able to do it in 2016, and the Red Sox not having enough resources to sign a pile of Free Agents in the winter, the only Canadian franchise should be favored heavily to win the AL East in 2016 right now.

For the organization there within lies a dilemma.  The team is on the cusp of a championship so how do they add the last pieces?

It was spade work by departed GM Alex Anthopoulos to first sign Joey Bats to that 5 YR/$64 MIL deal after his breakout 2010 season. then add EE for an extension of 3 years/$29 MIL guaranteed after his 2012 breakout year. It is the reason the club is in great position financially to take on other contracts. It worked for 2015 and could again in 2016 if handled right.

It was spade work by departed GM Alex Anthopoulos to first sign Joey Bats to that 5 YR/$64 MIL deal after his breakout 2010 season. then add EE for an extension of 3 years/$29 MIL guaranteed after his 2012 breakout year. It is the reason the club is in great position financially to take on other contracts. It worked for 2015 and could again in 2016 if handled right.

First off, forget about the future fellas. Your greatest chance to win is right now.  You have Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion on the last years of their deals, and Josh Donaldson is not going to bust up your piggy bank quite yet in Arbitration.

I know the Canadian Dollar has plunged to 0.75 cents for every American Greenback, however you have a rabid fanbase that is ready to spend whatever it takes to see this club go back to the World Series.

Since the AL East lacks a ton of clubs with #1 Starters right now, and the Toronto squad is capable of bashing its way through the regular season, I don’t even think it is necessary to add an ace quite yet for the next campaign.

I think the template the club showed in 2015 should be duplicated in 2016. Wait for the deadline and trade down every non MLB entity you can find in order to land another Pitcher like David Price.

You maybe able to pull off a deal for a Pitcher like Chris Sale or one of the flamethrowers in Tampa Bay.  Heck, maybe the A’s would be willing to listen to an offer for Sonny Gray by then – it includes a package of prospects.

Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the top 5 offensive hitters in the AL since the start of the 2012 year. It is unfortunate that Bautista and he will probably not remain a Blue Jays beyond this upcoming year. With the pending loss of both forces, I suggest the club makes a preemptive strike, by signing another offensive weapon before 2016 begins. You may be able to trade EE for another piece later in the year that way.

Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the top 5 offensive hitters in the AL since the start of the 2012 year. It is unfortunate that Bautista and he will probably not remain a Blue Jays beyond this upcoming year. With the pending loss of both forces, I suggest the club makes a preemptive strike, by signing another offensive weapon before 2016 begins. You may be able to trade EE for another piece later in the year that way.

If Toronto does sign a Starting Pitcher, they are better off to go the Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir or Wei-Yin Chen route.  Lower costing guys than the top tier will be.

Inking Marco Estrada for two years was a good move.

Pitchers aside.  I would love the aggression of the club if they signed a guy like 1B/OF Chris Davis.  Before you pour cold water on the idea, remember that both Encarnacion and Joey Bats are Free Agents after the 2016 years.  A versatile bat like Davis may be money for the club.

Think of an Infield for the next 3 years with Martin, Donaldson, Tulowitzki, Travis and Davis.  Add in Bautista, Pillar and Revere in the OF for this year at least and that would be a nice lineup.

I think it would be foolish to trade Ben Revere.  He is just what the team needs to offset all of the power and decent OBP’s in the lineup.  The man scored 35 Runs in just 59 games for the team in 2015.

Revere’s numbers also suggest he will not make huge Arbitration money for his assets for the next 3 years.  The team was the most effective when he was hitting leadoff.

Chris Davis has the kind of power that would be needed to pulverize the ball in the Rogers Cenre. Bringing in the reigning HR champ of the AL would make the offense incredibly unstoppable in the 1 - 9 lineup.

Chris Davis has the kind of power that would be needed to pulverize the ball in the Rogers Centre. Bringing in the reigning HR champ of the AL would make the offense incredibly unstoppable in the 1 – 9 lineup.

By bringing Davis, you would add a Left Handed Power bat to the order that led the league with HRs in 2016 with 47 HRs, but he also walked 100 times, drove in 117 RBI and Scored 100 Runs.

What do you think would be the market for Edwin Encarnacion in the American League.  A club would only have to pay him for one year at $10 MIL.

Or if the Jays just become greedy and keep him as the primary DH – with the rest of the club still intact with Davis.

Potential lineup 1: Revere, 2. Bautista 3. Donaldson 4. Davis 5. Encarnacion 6. Tulowitzki 7.Martin 8. Travis  and 9. Pillar.

You could still feature a bench of Ryan Goins, Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak.

The club could still use some late inning help. Maybe a trade for Papelbon – or to sign a Free Agent like Joakim Soria may be in order.

Marcus Stroman will anchor the Starter Staff, and they can follow him with Marco Estrada, R.A. Dickey and Drew Hutchison at least to begin. Aaron Sanchez could continued to be stretched out in a Starting role as well. This may build up potential trade value for him later in the year.

Again, I think they should spend at least $10 – $15 more on Starting Pitching and the Bullpen.

The Jays are in really good shape even beyond 2016, with Tulowitzki, Donaldson, Martin, Travis, Revere and Stroman all under the teams umbrella for many campaigns beyond that.  It would still be nice to add a big bopping LHB to the arsenal when Bautista and EE are gone.

The key is to add enough balance between the Left and Right handed batters.  As you saw in the series against the Royals and Rangers…They crushed the Left Handed Pivots, while they fared only decent versus the Righties.

Potentially, there are two other guys the club could ink on the open market and that would give them more trade-able youngsters to flip to another organization.  If they were to sign either Denard Span or Dexter Fowler.

The club could free up the eventual trade of either Ben Revere or Kevin Pillar in that regard.  Again, those two aforementioned FA’s both hit from the left side, carry impressive Runs Scored totals over the last few years, and would be perfect upgrades for a championship contending club.

Toronto needs to put the pedal to the medal in 2016, and spend more money than they even did this past year.  You can’t tell me this franchise wouldn’t contend for the best attendance in the American League, and maybe the majors if they are right near the lead of the AL East next season!

That amount of revenue, coupled with the National TV ratings numbers they received in Canada this playoffs year show they can earn more money if they spend more.  Peel back in future years.

Donaldson will likely win his 1st MVP trophy next week when the announce the winners. He is heading into his 1st of 3 Arbitration years, and could set the ALL - Time record for money doled out to an Arbitration player before he is eligible for Free Agency after the 2018 year. Take advantage of this right now Toronto. He is the best value on the board in the American League. TOM SZCZERBOWSKI/GETTY IMAGES

Donaldson will likely win his 1st MVP trophy next week when they announce the winners. He is heading into his 1st of 3 Arbitration years, and could set the ALL – Time record for money doled out to an Arbitration player before he is eligible for Free Agency after the 2018 year. Take advantage of this right now Toronto. He is the best value on the board in the American League.  Tulowiztki and he will patrol the left side of the Infield for the Jays for the next 3 years.  It would be nice to add some Left Handed pop to the lineup as well.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our Part Owner/chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

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Posted on November 15, 2015, in Free Agency, MLB Payroll and Contracts, MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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