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Mark Shapiro On Blue Jays’ Offseason

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro joined Sportsnet’s Tim and Sid (link to YouTube) to discuss the state of the team’s offseason efforts. He emphasized that “there’s still a good amount of offseason left” and suggested further additions are yet to come.

Shapiro acknowledged that the market has driven salaries higher than anticipated. In response, the club has “adjusted our threshold on players and gone … a certain percentage higher than we thought we would go.”

That still hasn’t resulted in any major additions, with Shapiro explaining that a variety of circumstances have kept the Jays from locking up certain targets. One particular challenge, he suggested, lies in convincing players of the team’s readiness to win games. That seems to present a bit of a chicken/egg dilemma, though obviously the organization hopes that its on-field output will improve from within as well as benefiting from new additions.

So what of the hoped for “significant additions”? Shapiro says the club has “already added” — a nod to the still-unofficial Tanner Roark and Shun Yamaguchi additions — and is “not done this winter.” (Shapiro suggests the club values Yamaguchi for his ability to provide rotation depth and “upside out of the pen.” ) But Shapiro acknowledged it’s less likely now than it once was that the club will install one major player, though he made clear he’s still holding out hope.

Shapiro asks that the organization be judged at the end of the winter and based upon the entirety of the roster movement that occurs. He believes there’ll be “significant” improvement by that standard when camp opens in the spring.

But Shapiro also left some unmistakable warnings not to expect too much. He cited the need to maintain “future flexibility” for a hoped-for “window of opportunity,” explaining that the organization must “grudgingly approach giving up that flexibility.” And when asked about potentially adding to the position-player mix, Shapiro used the opportunity to explain why the organization is hesitant to “give up” on certain players, proffering Teoscar Hernandez and Derek Fisher as examples.

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