Corey Seager’s 10-year, $325M deal with the Rangers prior to the MLB lockout shocked baseball — both because it was the Rangers winning the bidding and because Texas had already signed Marcus Semien for a surprising seven years and $175M. As one would expect with any bidding war that reaches a decade and more than $300M, Texas had some competition as they sought to lure Seager to Arlington. However, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports this morning that a perhaps-unexpected suitor was one of the primary competitors in that Seager market: the Blue Jays.
The Dodgers also had strong interest in re-signing Seager, per Passan, though that much was largely known to this point. Toronto’s involvement in the process, however, is a newer revelation. The Jays were known to be attempting to re-sign Semien, but Seager’s contract was in an entirely different financial stratosphere. Ultimately, Toronto simply wasn’t willing to match Texas’ 10-year, $325M terms, but Passan suggests that the team was “very much” in on Seager prior to his deal with Texas.
That’s of some anecdotal note and makes for a fine “what-if” moment for Jays fans down the line, but it’s also informative of the team’s current mindset and simultaneously instructive of how the Jays will be able to operate post-transaction freeze. The Blue Jays have just shy of $97M committed to the septet of George Springer, Kevin Gausman, Hyun Jin Ryu, Jose Berrios, Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Yimi Garcia. Add in a steep arbitration class headlined by burgeoning star Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and the Jays have another $31M or so in projected payroll, according to MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.