Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins managed to complete at least half of his off-season workload before the Dec. 2 lockout went into effect, but there is still a lot of heavy lifting to get done before opening day.
Teams are prohibited from making moves that affect their 40-man roster until a new collective agreement is reached with the Major League Baseball Players Association. Once the shutdown is lifted, there should be a flurry of moves as the league rushes to complete its unfinished business.
For now, Atkins can use the downtime to assess the work that has already been done and what decisions lie ahead for a team that intends to contend in 2022. With the right moves, a team that’s already good on paper could become elite. The wrong ones could result in another disappointing finish.
Here’s a lookahead to the five most pressing questions the Jays must answer before reporting for spring training — in February, March or whenever the league happens to get up and running.
Who replaces Marcus Semien?
Well, it’s not going to be one of the big-name shortstops, we know that. Shortstop was the deepest position among this year’s elite free agents and there was some initial speculation the Jays would take another run at Semien, or a guy like Corey Seager, but there was never any indication they came close to signing either one.
If Semien’s replacement is found through free agency…