The Orioles, Rays and Blue Jays are among the teams that face a critical decision this offseason, writes MLB.com’s Mike Petriello. All three are looking up at a stacked pair of rosters in Boston and New York, and there’s an argument to be made that each of the three should rebuild rather than make an aggressive push to contend in 2018. The Orioles and Jays are set to lose Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson to free agency next winter, while the low-payroll Rays have already been forced to trade Evan Longoria largely for fiscal reasons and have yet to see this core group realize its full potential. What truly matters for bubble teams of this nature, though, is simply making a definitive call, Petriello argues. With so many incentives (in terms of talent acquisition) for teams at the bottom of the league, rebuilding toward a brighter future or aggressively “going for it” are more logical routes for each of these teams than merely executing half-measures that will result in another middle-of-the-pack finish, Petriello posits.
- The Blue Jays’ acquisition of Yangervis Solarte over the weekend gives the club plenty of versatility, which has been a point of focus for the organization as GM Ross Atkins explains to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. “What we’re looking for, and will continue to look for, are options and versatile options and guys that can do multiple things, and guys that can typically play in the middle of the diamond can do more than that,” says Atkins. The GM notes that both Solarte and fellow trade pickup Aledmys Diaz can handle middle-of-the-diamond positions, which should strengthen the club’s depth considerably — a critical need for a Jays team that last year leaned heavily on Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney in the absence of Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis. Atkins suggests that Solarte can not only see time at second base, third base and shortstop but also indicated that he could log occasional innings at first base and in the outfield. Atkin also acknowledged that the Jays are still in the market for an outfielder and for some rotation help; the staggeringly slow free-agent market should leave with plenty of options to pursue in that regard. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays have about $20MM to spend.