Even though things should be pretty quiet on the free agent front for the Blue Jays this off-season, it might be a different story when it comes to making a trade or two.

Unlike last off-season when the Blue Jays had to worry about what to do with Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and beefing-up their bullpen…this winter should be a relatively quiet one.

Other than maybe going out and signing a reliever, back-up catcher, and reasonably priced starting pitcher, Toronto has few needs that can be met via free agency.  The Blue Jays have said they hope to compete next year, and that’s all good, but one thing they can’t risk doing this off-season is to damage the long-term success of this ball club by going out and signing more multi-year contracts for veterans well passed their prime.

The Blue Jays are already saddled with three bad contracts in what they have for Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, and Kendrys Morales.  The last thing they need to do now is add yet another bad contract or two to that list, especially considering that Toronto isn’t the kind of team that can just buyout a garbage contract similar to what the Red Sox did with Pablo Sandoval.

Some people have been calling for the Blue Jays to make upgrades to their corner outfield positions.  There’s not a chance of this happening considering that Toronto already had a competent and affordable outfielder in the recently released Nori Aoki.  Any improvement in left or right field will have to come from Toronto’s prospects who could get a serious shot at some playing time in 2018.

Toronto has made several savvy moves over the past year and a bit when it comes to acquiring solid prospects.  Moves that have had an extremely positive impact on their farm system.  But even after trading for prospects like Reese McGuire, Harold Ramirez, Teoscar Hernandez, Thomas Pannone, and Samad Taylor, there’s still plenty more work to be done when it comes to improving Toronto’s farm system.

With a good number of capable outfield prospects like Dalton Pompey, Anthony Alford, and Hernandez, it may be in Toronto’s best interest to part with the 34- year old Steve Pearce.  A player with  1-year and $6.25 million remaining on his contract.  Pearce isn’t likely to help Toronto win next season anymore than players like Ezequiel Carrera, Hernandez, Alford, or Pompey.  Which is why Toronto needs to consider moving Pearce as part of their efforts towards improving their stock of prospects.

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