2023 Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Thu Mar 23 5:30pm ET
Field Level Media

2022 record: 92-70, second in American League East

Offseason headlines: Following two wild-card appearances in the past three seasons, the Blue Jays appear poised to make a run at the AL East title with their offseason upgrades. Already boasting a solid rotation, Toronto added former All-Star RHP Chris Bassitt to the mix, while shoring up its defense with a pair of veterans in CF Kevin Kiermaier and 1B Brandon Belt. The club also traded away outfielders Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez, receiving talented C/OF Dalton Varsho and RHP Erik Swanson. The Blue Jays also locked up one of their cornerstones, signing SS Bo Bichette to a three-year, $33.6 million deal to avoid arbitration and cover his three years of arbitration eligibility.

Spring storylines: Fortunately for the Jays, they were able to breathe a sigh of relief as superstar Vladimir Guerrero's right knee injury suffered early in spring training turned out to be minor. One of the biggest questions was who the club's fifth starter would be. However, it appears RHP Yusei Kikuchi is in line for the role. One of his competitors, RHP Mitch White, may start the season on the injured list, while LHP Ricky Tiedemann, the club's No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com, was reassigned to minor league camp.

Young guns: Speaking of Tiedemann, the young phenom dazzled in his first spring outing, causing veterans like Kiermaier to take notice. "I'm going to remember that name, and everyone else in the baseball world needs to as well," Kiermaier said. "He's going to be around for a long time and he's going to be dominating. I can almost guarantee that right now." Tiedemann struck out 117 in 78 2/3 innings across three levels in his 2022 debut in the minors -- at age 19.

Fall feeling: If they stay healthy, there's no reason the Jays can't contend for the AL East title. With a stacked lineup and a talented pitching staff, this feels like Toronto's time to make a deep postseason run.

Odds, even: The Blue Jays have the second-best odds to win the AL East (+205 at Draft Kings, +220 at FanDuel) and the seventh-best World Series odds (+1300 at DraftKings, +1200 on FanDuel).

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