How the Blue Jays’ Recent Signings Will Affect the Yankees
Major League Baseball is known for many things. Large salaries, a long season and being the top sport during the summer months are just a few things that are great qualities of the sport.
One of the most noteworthy traits about MLB is the long off-season, given that the last game is played around the end of October and Spring Training does not begin until mid-February. Free-agent signings also do not kick off until the new year, and this off-season was no exception.
There have been several big splashes around the league. The New York Mets traded for Francisco Lindor, You Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove are now San Diego Padres and the White Sox added Lance Lynn and Liam Hendricks in what could be considered the best AL team.
Over the past few days, the Toronto Blue Jays made a couple of big splashes of their own, both of which occurred within just a few hours of each other .
The first reported signing was former Yankee reliever and Padres closer Kirby Yates, who agreed to a one-year, “prove it” deal after he appeared in only six games in 2020. Yates was transformed into one of the best closers in baseball during his time in San Diego and is expected to make an impact this season.
Just hours later on Jan. 19, top free agent George Springer agreed to a six-year deal worth $150 million to be the primary center fielder. Springer is entering his age-31 season and finishes his tenure with Houston with a .270 batting average, 174 home runs and a .852 OPS. He is expected to be the everyday center fielder.
So what should the Yankees expect?
Although neither of these deals have been signed, they will both make Toronto a much tougher team to beat. After all, both were seen as top free agents for both pitchers and fielders.
Toronto’s lineup already consisted of players like Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and several others. Springer’s signing will complete Toronto’s lineup of having good hitters from top to bottom.
If Yates is able to rebound and get back to his regular form from San Diego, he will be a force to reckon with. The Yankees will have their hands full against their former reliever, who may be looking to get some revenge against his former club.
The Yankees have struggled against Toronto over the past two seasons compared to other teams in the AL East, so the challenge to beat the lone Canadian team will be great. However, it will make for some fun baseball to watch.
Photo credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images