The off-season got off to a quick start on Thursday, as two players accepted qualifying offers and the best reliever on the market inked a multi-year deal. Jose Abreu and Jake Odorizzi both accepted their qualifying offers from the White Sox and Twins respectively, opting to head back into free agency without draft pick compensation attached to them. Will Smith declined his qualifying offer from the Giants and signed a three-year deal worth $39 million to become the eighth-inning guy for the Braves.
The Abreu thing doesn’t really matter, but both Odorizzi and Smith have effects on the Blue Jays. Smith signing suggests that Ken Giles’ market might start to heat up. Once one big domino falls like this, others generally tend to follow behind. Whichever teams miss out on the big relievers will likely be in on Giles. It also gives us an idea of what it would cost to keep Giles around if that becomes an option.
Odorizzi was one of the names the Jays had already been in touch with as a free agent. They met with his agent and apparently even fielded an offer, but the Jays ultimately weren’t able to persuade him from …
Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation