The team adds George Springer to its roster
Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins has been mostly quiet for the first two months of the Major League Baseball (MLB) offseason. However, he stepped up big time in the past few weeks, signing outfielder George Springer from the free agency market.
Springer signed for six years and US$150 million, which represents a franchise record contract for the Blue Jays. The team’s newest acquisition is a three-time all-star player and the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP). The 31-year-old played all his previous seasons with the Houston Astros.
Springer hit 39 home runs in 122 games in 2019, followed by 14 in a shortened 51-game season last year. He hit four home runs in each of his last three postseasons.
In addition to Springer, Atkins added closer Kirby Yates and pitcher Tyler Chatwood to the team. Both should add good depth to a young lineup in need of more experience.
Yates played for four teams before signing a one-year contract with the Blue Jays. He had a career-high 12 home runs in 2017. Chatwood has even more experience, having started in 2011. Despite being a pitcher, he has three seasons with 14 home runs or more, and a career-high of 20, also in 2017.
Such additions to a group that already has rising players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette should please fans. The team might not be a World Series contender for 2021, but the future’s getting brighter for the franchise.
The Blue Jays are playing a tough division that includes World Series finalists Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. The Blue Jays finished with a 32-28 record last year, and were eliminated by the Rays in the first round of the postseason. It will be interesting to see how they do with the new acquisitions this season.
Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion