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Bryce Harper’s fit with Blue Jays isn’t a fan fever dream

Complaining about the Toronto Blue Jays’ cost-free agent inactivity is a annually custom for the team’s fanbase, and this calendar year is no exception.

Often these grievances are not rooted in an comprehension of where the group is and where it is heading, but fairly a venting of stress over an operator with selectively limited pursestrings. Signing the most significant names typically signifies having on gamers over 30 on offers with a lot of again-conclusion downside – indicating you have to be prepared to earn this 2nd or else you hazard not achieving the mountaintop and suffering a lengthy decrease period like the Detroit Tigers.

This offseason in certain, there is just one name that has captured the creativity of the Blue Jays fanbase by the name of Bryce Harper – which has popularized the phrase “Indicator Bryce Harper you cowards” in specified circles. The fascination with the concept of Harper in Toronto helps make sense on the most primary level mainly because he’s unbelievably fantastic and by some means continue to out there with just one 7 days right until pitchers and catchers report.

Compared with other instances of this fanbase lusting soon after the most significant name out there it also just helps make sense, period of time. Whilst it is crucial to accept the prospects of Harper coming north of the border are astronomically lower, bordering on literally non-existent, the in shape is pretty true for good reasons that include things like but are not minimal to:

Harper’s youth

The cause a rebuilding Blue Jays group would stay away from cost-free agents is that the most group-friendly years of their contract are generally the initial two and all those years appear not likely to be aggressive for Toronto. So, shelling out a veteran handsomely to lead to a losing 2019 and doubtful 2020 is not eye-catching, in particular if his age-connected decrease sets in soon soon after.

In Harper’s case he has so quite a few great years left that he matches neatly in the team’s planned aggressive window. Guaranteed, possessing him make leading dollar in 2019 is not best, but he could complement Vlad Guerrero Jr. into the 2020’s with pretty minimal possibility of falling off a cliff. There is a cause groups like the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres who are not pretty fantastic nowadays have sniffed all-around Harper and Manny Machado – they are scarce sufficient commodities that a not-best 2019 with them is a affordable expense of executing company. Often the player you want to make all-around doesn’t appear out there the actual calendar year you’re on the lookout to start creating.

The Blue Jays outfield photograph

Due to the fact the Blue Jays have really a number of outfielders on the 40-man roster, it makes the illusion that it is an region where they have an embarrassment of viable options. Billy McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez can contend for left area time, Anthony Alford could get balanced and choose off, Dalton Pompey is continue to all-around, etcetera.

The actuality is that they’ve obtained two outfielders in location – Kevin Pillar and Randal Grichuk – who are only under group regulate for two extra seasons. Both equally are high-quality starters, neither is a star. Anyone else is each unproven and also outdated to be a prospect. McKinney and Alford are 24 (despite the fact that the latter is a bit of a specific case mainly because he’s performed fewer baseball that most gamers his age). Hernandez, Pompey, and Dwight Smith Jr. were all born within a month of Harper and have mixed for 1. occupation WAR in 950 plate appearances. It’s not a rosy photograph.

From a prospect perspective, the Blue Jays are not strong listed here either. Past Alford, who is in all probability riskier than most team’s fifth-rated prospect (by MLB Pipeline), their next optimum-rated outfield prospect is Griffin Conine, who has just one so-so 50 percent time of pro ball under his belt with a PED suspension. Cavan Biggio could figure into the photograph listed here also, but when you visualize the Vlad Jr.-Bo Bichette Blue Jays there is not an outfielder you know will be there.

Harper could be that person.

A deficiency of impression left-handed bats

Lineup stability is a small depth, but it is helpful – in particular late in online games when opposing groups are utilizing matchup relievers. There is a cause why Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins pointed out how Harper could in shape in the team’s upcoming lineup in a TSN 1050 interview.

He would in shape effectively in between Bichette and Vladdy at some position, there’s no dilemma. He’s an intriguing player.

It wasn’t a statement of intent by any signifies, but Atkins observed that it would be great to have a left-handed ability bat to slide between the upcoming Blue Jays’ dynamic duo. This is absolutely the case, and that bat doesn’t seriously exist in the corporation now. Here are all the left-handed or change hitting placement gamers on the 40-man roster:

  • Reese McGuire: Backup catcher profile with the bat to match
  • Freddy Galvis: Mild-hitting center infielder who is under group regulate for a maximum of two years
  • Justin Smoak: Underneath group regulate for 2019 only
  • Rowdy Tellez: Considerably from a guaranteed factor as a upcoming 1B starter
  • Richard Urena: Utility infielder style
  • Bill McKinney: Probably a league-ordinary bat, probably
  • Dalton Pompey: Never looked like an impression bat, even when he was extra of a prospect
  • Kendrys Morales: Only all-around for just one extra calendar year and just-previously mentioned ordinary hitter at DH


The only gamers there who could be offer the left-handed ability the Blue Jays will will need in the center of the lineup are Tellez and McKinney, and either would have to acquire way beyond expectations for that to take place. Even if Smoak re-indicators he’d be effectively into his decrease as Vladdy and Bo ascend.

On the prospect aspect there is not a tonne extra cause for optimism. The Blue Jays’ leading six placement player potential customers are all suitable-handed with Biggio getting the only left-hander who profiles as an previously mentioned-ordinary bat. Even with the optimism bordering him, it is worthy of noting he turns 24 in April and has not performed in Triple-A yet.

The society in shape

Contemplating he’s by no means been suspended, arrested, or considered ‘dirty’, it is odd to consider of Harper as a controversial player. That explained, mainly because of his showmanship and inclination to give a true quote from time to time there are in all probability some groups that fear about the result he may have on their society.

There is no cause to consider the Blue Jays would be amongst them, while. This town and franchise embraced Jose Bautista, whose antics arguably produced him the leading villain in baseball for a time. There is not an engrained regressive baseball society listed here, or a bunch of veterans insisting on taking part in the game “the suitable way”.

As Guerrero Jr. will become the centrepiece in Toronto and followers get to know him extra, it’ll be apparent he’s not a person hurting for confidence. The very same could be explained of Bichette. If a group developed all-around all those two has any accomplishment it would be as a swaggy outfit that some other golf equipment really don’t like – not the style of group disdainful of Harper’s audacity.

Eventually, the prospects of the Blue Jays bringing Harper aboard continue to be minuscule, but there’s a true in shape in Toronto. Whether or not it is thanks to the team’s owner’s getting “cowards” or Harper’s very own preferences he appears like he’ll by no means be a Blue Jay – but in this case the armchair GM-ing of the fanbase is place on.

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