Rosenthal: ‘There are still teams that have money to spend’ this off-season, could include Blue Jays

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
5 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays may still have a move or two up their sleeve before the 2024 season arrives.
So far, the front office has made marginal improvements, re-signing outfielder Kevin Kiermaier while acquiring utility player Isiah Kiner-Falefa, DH/third baseman Justin Turner and Cuban right-hander Yariel Rodriguez. While it’s late into the off-season, with Toronto’s camp opening for pitchers and catchers next Thursday, there may still be room for a last-minute addition.
There’s no guarantee a signing or trade will come down the pipeline between now and then. But, as Ken Rosenthal said during Wednesday’s appearance on the Foul Territory podcast, the Blue Jays may be among the clubs with room for additional spending this winter.
“There are still teams that have money to spend,” Rosenthal said regarding the potential activity for the remainder of this off-season. “I’m thinking of the Giants and the Cubs, and the Angels – and the Blue Jays, perhaps. Maybe the Rangers if get some clairity on their local TV revenue beyond this year.”
This statement, of course, could mean a couple of things. It might suggest Toronto’s front office is open to making a late push for one of the top remaining free agents available – a list that includes Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman, among others. Alternatively, perhaps we see them continue adding around the margins and target a platoon outfielder, for example.
Nothing should be off the table, especially with a relatively long list of impact bats still up for grabs. But considering Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith have each pointed out that the club’s “heavy lifting” appears complete, it’s fair to assume any future moves made will likely be minor.
Now, that can also be taken a couple of different ways.
A non-flashy transaction could be signing Tommy Pham or Robbie Grossman – or even Adam Duvall – all of whom would address Toronto’s need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder. Or maybe it’s something less impactful like bringing in Tony Kemp – who’s received interest from several clubs, including the Blue Jays, per FanSided’s Robert Murray – on a minor-league deal.
But it could also be a somewhat minor trade, too. Given the organization’s surplus of infielders, they could pursue additional outfield depth or further protection on the pitching side for a group that was among the healthiest and most effective in the sport last season.
Santiago Espinal, who has three seasons of club control remaining and is earning $2.725 million in 2024, is likely atop the list of potential trade candidates as Kiner-Falefa’s arrival has made him obsolete, at least for the most part. Despite a horrendous 2023 performance, the 29-year-old infielder would undoubtedly benefit many clubs as a cost-effective addition.
Otto Lopez could also be someone worth monitoring this spring, as the 25-year-old is out of options and is currently set to be designated for assignment – barring injury, of course – by spring training’s end.
It is also worth noting the Blue Jays’ 2024 projected luxury tax payroll – also known as the Competitive Balance Tax payroll – sits at roughly $250.7 million per FanGraphs, less than $7 million below MLB’s second luxury tax threshold of $257 million.


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