After reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years, the Blue Jays would like to continue adding to their core over the coming months. And if that means spending in free agency, they should have the resources to do so, according to team president and CEO Mark Shapiro, who said Wednesday that his conversations with ownership have been encouraging.
"Every indication has been very strongly that they expect us to continue to pursue where we need to add to our core, continue to pursue players this off-season,” Shapiro said on a Zoom call with local media. “That takes two parties, not just us, but also the players we’re pursuing. But I think the resources are going to be there. If we think the right deals are there and we make those recommendations, the resources are going to be there for us to add in a meaningful way.”
Last off-season, the Blue Jays spent on free agents such as Hyun Jin Ryu (four years, $80 million) and Tanner Roark (two years, $24 million). With starters Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Matt Shoemaker now hitting free agency, the Blue Jays need pitching once again.
While much of the Blue Jays' position player core is in place for years to come, the club will also be looking to improve its defence, according to Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins. That, too, could require free-agent spending.
Shapiro said the Blue Jays have further meetings next month with ownership at Rogers Communications Inc., which also owns Sportsnet. In the meantime, it sounds as though the Blue Jays have the freedom to pursue impact players once free agency begins.
Click here to listen to Arden Zwelling and Ben Nicholson-Smith discuss Shapiro's comments and what they mean for the Blue Jays on the At the Letters podcast.