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Ross Atkins spoke with media virtually from mystery location during Winter Meetings

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
The second day of the Winter Meetings featured a press conference from Blue Jays general manager, Ross Atkins.
A big question that still remains from this press conference is where is Ross “Waldo” Atkins? It was announced shortly before the availability that Atkins was going to move the media meeting to Zoom, as he had scheduling conflicts. According to several reporters, Atkins noted that Zoom permitted it to happen, which is a top three Atkins quote of all time.
 
In all seriousness, this leads to more questions than answers. A big theory running rampant is that Atkins is in Los Angeles meeting with Shohei Ohtani’s agents in the city. His secrecy could be because he is honouring Ohtani’s wish to not leak anything.
But like I said, Atkins not being in Nashville leads to a lot more questions than answers.

Is a second big acquisition possible?

Say the Jays win the Ohtani sweepstakes… what would be next?
Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae asked if landing a marquee free agent would take them out of the running for a second big acquisition.
According to Mae, Atkins stated that it’s be hard to acquire two free agents worth at least five wins (in terms of WAR) and worth over $25,000,000. Atkins did make it known that Rogers gave the team their full support to make the team better though.
In an ideal world, the Blue Jays land Ohtani, while trading for Juan Soto without giving up Ricky Tiedemann or Alek Manoah, but this just doesn’t seem likely. If they aren’t able to sign Ohtani, what will happen?

The backup plan:

MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson believes that once Ohtani signs somewhere, Toronto will look to make an acquisition via trade.
In the same Tweet, Matheson quoted Atkins which basically boiled down to there will be more opportunities to add to the position player core, but through trade.
According to The Sports Network’s Scott Mitchell, Atkins has declined some trades, and while it’s active, everything is waiting on Ohtani’s decision.
To go along with that, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet added that Atkins said that the Blue Jays were in a strong position with regards to the trade market. Obviously, this doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in free agency, as they seem to be a legitimate threat to sign Ohtani.
Either way, let’s hope Ohtani signs (with the Blue Jays) soon, so free agency can get going.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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