After an exciting season, the Blue Jays’ playoff run came to an end yesterday, and now must look forward to next year. Here are five things the Jays will have to address in the offseason.
- Getting healthy. Several Jays dealt with injuries all year, including second basemen Devon Travis with a bone bruise in his right knee. The offseason will be a good time to rest up and get stronger for the 2017 season.
- The team’s coaching. GM Ross Atkins has confirmed that manager John Gibbons will be back next season. But as often happens with playoff elimination, changes could be coming to the other coaches.
- Aaron Sanchez’s development. This was the first year the young pitcher threw over 200 innings in a single season. He excelled as a full-time starter with a 15-and-2 record, and how he trains in the offseason could turn him into the Jays’ ace next year.
- Several players on the roster are free agents. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will likely part ways with Toronto, but other free agents include Brett Cecil, Darwin Barney, and Canadian outfielder Michael Saunders. The Jays are expected to make a push for Cecil, who is one of the few lefties in the Jays’ bullpen.
- Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. These two players have been the driving force for the Jays for years, and their hitting power will be sorely missed if neither can be resigned. But with Jose turning 36, and Edwin at 33, it will depend how much money and term they expect, and what other teams are offering.