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Thoughts on the Bo Bichette rumours, what a “splash” might look like for the Blue Jays, and more

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Photo credit:© Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
4 months ago
American Thanksgiving is usually a pretty quiet time for the Major League Baseball off-season hotstove, so, naturally, the Toronto Blue Jays have been in the rumour mill a bunch lately.
They’re said to be looking to “do something big” and “make a splash” but what that entails specifically is yet to be seen.
It’s known the Blue Jays will make a push for Shohei Ohtani and that they’ll try to sign Cody Bellinger if they strike out on baseball’s biggest prize, as adding to what was a wildly disappointing lineup last season is this winter’s priority.
After those two, though, there aren’t very many potentially game-changing bats on the open market. Matt Chapman is the best position player out there after Ohtani and Bellinger and the Blue Jays are hoping to get him re-signed to a contract well below the $150 million figure that he’s reportedly seeking.
We can only sit and speculate so much about where Ohtani and, subsequently, Bellinger and a bunch of other names will wind up signing for so long before the topic runs dry. As a result, the idea of the Blue Jays looking to shake things up on the trade market has come more into focus this week.
Back on Monday, a Chicago sports podcast host posted on TwitterI wonder how #Cubs fans would feel about Bo Bichette playing every day at Wrigley…” and the host of The Locked On Cubs podcast added on Tuesday “I’m hearing the Cubs have talked to the Blue Jays about Bo Bichette, who would play 3B for the Cubs.” Jon Morosi then threw fuel all over the fire on Wednesday when he talked on MLB Network about how the Cubs had shown an interest in Bichette last winter.
The Chicago rumour is the second time that Bichette has been mentioned as a target of another team so far this off-season. Earlier this month, MLB.com’s  Juan Toribio noted that the Dodgers are “monitoring the trade market for a shortstop, mainly Milwaukee’s Willy Adames and Toronto’s Bo Bichette.”
It makes sense that other teams are inquiring with the Blue Jays about Bichette, considering he’s a very good shortstop and he’s cost-controlled at a reasonable number for the next two years. This is the time of year in which teams talk to each other and get a gauge on whether they’d be interested in trading so-and-so, so Los Angeles or Chicago checking in on Bichette doesn’t mean the Blue Jays are actively shopping him or that they have any interest in moving him.
From another team’s vantage point, the Blue Jays are a team that’s suffered back-to-back sweeps in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and there hasn’t been much talk about locking Bichette up long-term, so viewing them as a retool candidate isn’t unreasonable.
From Toronto’s perspective, though, trading away a homegrown star shortstop for magic beans after sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into stadium renovations doesn’t make much sense. More than likely, the Blue Jays are going to run it back next year with a team that features Bichette.
We can probably chalk up this Bo trade talk as “Hey, that’s something that could technically happen!” off-season-boring-zone fodder, but it’s also probably something that isn’t going to go away. TSN’s Scott Micthell added on Thursday amidst the chaos that he “would not be shocked or surprised if Bo Bichette was eventually traded.”
Since he’s two seasons away from reaching free agency, there’s inevitably going to be speculation around trading Bichette before he’s able to leave Toronto with nothing more than a compensatory draft pick. The speculation will continue to heat up further if the Blue Jays struggle in 2024 or if they suffer another Wild Card playoff loss.
The reality is that Bichette’s value in a trade is possibly at the highest it’ll ever be right now and a significant addition such as Shohei Ohtani or Cody Bellinger would make it more difficult to dish out the money needed to keep the star shortstop around long-term. It’s not necessarily easy to envision a Bichette trade that makes the Blue Jays a better team right now, but if that move also involves, say, flipping prospects to the San Diego Padres for Juan Soto, maybe it’s not entirely unfathomable.
The Blue Jays once traded the best shortstop in team history along with a future Hall of Famer for two players who played significant roles in the team getting over the hump and winning the World Series in 1992 and 1993. The most recent Toronto championship also saw the Raptors trade away a homegrown star for the Finals MVP that put them over the top.
Given the way the last two playoffs have gone, nothing should really be off the table for the Blue Jays this winter. Nobody knows what that splash is going to be, but it’s coming.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

 

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