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HomeBaseballJays GM: Bichette Stays Their Franchise Shortstop

Jays GM: Bichette Stays Their Franchise Shortstop

Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette was the topic of commerce hypothesis final week, when a report prompt the Cubs had proven curiosity within the two-time All-Star. Any form of Bichette commerce all the time appeared far-fetched and Toronto basic supervisor Ross Atkins shot down the likelihood in a chat with reporters (together with Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet and Scott Mitchell of TSN) this afternoon.

Atkins referred to as Bichette a “actually good participant” and pointed to the shortage of affect place participant expertise accessible this offseason, suggesting that it’s solely pure different groups would contact the Jays about his availability. However, Atkins made clear it’s not one thing the Jays are pursuing. “We’re very lucky to have him and he’s our shortstop shifting ahead,” Atkins mentioned. “Rumors, hypothesis, there’s normally one thing (to them), however in our case, Bo is our shortstop shifting ahead.”

The Jays have the star infielder beneath contract for 2 extra seasons. Bichette signed a three-year deal to purchase out his arbitration campaigns on the eve of Spring Coaching. He’s set for an $11MM wage subsequent season and can make $16.5MM in his ultimate yr earlier than free company. That’s a worth the Jays will fortunately pay for a shortstop who hit .306/.339/.475 over 601 plate appearances, numbers proper in step with his profession marks.

Toronto has overtly regarded for methods so as to add extra offense alongside Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The Jays are a reported suitor for Shohei Ohtani and have proven curiosity in a reunion with Matt Chapman. Chapman, Brandon Belt and Whit Merrifield all hitting free company has subtracted a trio of regulars from the lineup.

As they reload on the heels of an 89-win season that ended within the Wild Card spherical, the entrance workplace is unsurprisingly open to short-term acquisitions. Atkins mentioned the crew isn’t averse to buying and selling for a participant who’s one yr from free company (Nicholson-Smith hyperlink). The GM didn’t point out any particular targets. Juan SotoCorbin BurnesShane BieberHa-Seong Kim and Max Kepler are among the many rental gamers who appeared on MLBTR’s checklist of the Prime 25 offseason commerce candidates earlier this month.

Proper-hander Alek Manoah additionally appeared on that checklist. The Jays have signaled some openness to shifting the enigmatic hurler on the heels of a disastrous season. Nonetheless, Nicholson-Smith suggests (on X) the crew is extra inclined to carry onto Manoah quite than promoting low. Initially of the offseason, Atkins implied he was the in-house favourite to occupy the fifth spot within the rotation behind Kevin GausmanChris BassittJosé Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi.

Manoah was a Cy Younger finalist as lately as 2022, when he pitched to a 2.24 ERA over 31 begins. All the things went within the incorrect course this yr. Manoah allowed 5.87 earned runs per 9 over 87 1/3 innings. His stroll fee greater than doubled whereas his strikeouts fell to a career-low 19% mark. He didn’t pitch once more after being optioned on August 10. Final month, Atkins mentioned the West Virginia product had acquired a platelet-rich plasma injection in his throwing shoulder.

The GM indicated right this moment that Manoah is throwing as a part of his offseason routine. He appears on observe to be a full-go for Spring Coaching. He’d seemingly enter exhibition play because the #5 starter, though the Jays have not less than kicked the tires on attainable rotation acquisitions. They’ve been tied to Yoshinobu Yamamoto and had been reportedly concerned within the Aaron Nola market to some extent earlier than he re-signed with the Phillies. If the Jays had been to land one other starter, it’d reignite hypothesis about Manoah’s availability.



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