The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays campaign became infinitely more interesting late last week when the team finally called up 20-year-old phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a transaction that could merely end up being the tip of the iceberg according to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal.
Guerrero’s major-league debut and high-ceiling potential has sparked interest from baseball fans and pundits south of the border in addition to Canada and during a Monday roundtable discussion with Brain Kenny, Sarah Langs and Dan O’Dowd on MLB Network, Rosenthal provided some insight into how Blue Jays management might choose to construct the roster going forward.
“It’s going to be really interesting to watch the Jays over the next few months because what I believe they’re going to do – what I’m told they’re going to do – is try to trade [Marcus] Stroman, [Aaron] Sanchez, [Justin] Smoak and others to get more young talent in Vladdy’s age range and service class and then build up that way,” Rosenthal said.
Guerrero impressed onlookers, recording three hits and drawing one walk in 12 at-bats, during a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics over the weekend. He’s a blue-chip prospect expected to be the face of the franchise, but isn’t the only highly-touted youngster in Toronto’s system.
Rosenthal also mentioned 24-year-old infielder Cavan Biggio and 21-year-old shortstop Bo Bichette, MLB Pipeline’s No. 10-ranked prospect, as key pieces the team plans on building around.
In each year between 2013-2018, the Blue Jays had one of the oldest rosters in baseball. That’s no longer the case this year as Toronto is currently one of five teams with an average player age younger than 27. If they do trade some of their veterans for more youth, as Rosenthal suggests they’ll try, it’s entirely possible the Blue Jays could end up having the youngest roster in the majors.
Stroman, 28, is making $7.4 million in 2019 and has one more year of control left on his deal. Sanchez is 26 making $3.9 million with another year of arbitration, while the 32-year-old Smoak is a pending free agent making $8 million this year.