Following Thursday’s trade between the Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins for Christian Yelich, there were multiple reports that the Toronto Blue Jays were among the final teams in on the sought-after outfielder.
According to the reports, the Blue Jays were close to acquiring Yelich, but Toronto refused to part with top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who the Marlins wanted in the deal.
The Blue Jays had been linked to Yelich trade rumours for much of this off-season. During an appearance on Sportsnet 650 The FAN Thursday afternoon, general manager Ross Atkins said that while the team did their homework on Yelich, they did not want to sacrifice any significant part of their future in a potential deal.
“We focused a lot of our energy and attention on continuing to build around our system and acquire talent while contending,” said Atkins. “Taking a big chunk out of that was something we felt did not make sense for the Toronto Blue Jays at this point. But we obviously were engaged and talking to [the Miami Marlins] about the potential of that coming to fruition.”
Earlier this week, Guerrero Jr. was ranked as the third-best MLB prospect by Baseball America. The Blue Jays also had three others in the top 100 list, including Bo Bichette who came in at No. 8.
Yelich, 26, batted .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs and 81 RBI with the Marlins last season.