George Springer sees echoes of Houston Astros in Toronto Blue Jays’ younger core

TORONTO — George Springer thinks the Blue Jays‘ promising younger core is much like the group he performed with that led the Astros to their first World Collection title in 2017.

Springer and the Blue Jays agreed final week to a team-record $150 million, six-year contract. He joined a roster that features younger sluggers Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. The three-time All-Star outfielder was 2017 World Collection MVP when he performed with Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa.

“This lineup jogs my memory numerous them,” Springer stated, carrying a Toronto cap and jersey throughout a video information convention. “It’s a younger lineup nevertheless it’s a really proficient, superior youthful lineup. From every little thing I’ve seen, they’re very, very bold. They wish to win, they work arduous. That is superior to see.”

Toronto went 32-28 in the course of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, ending third within the AL East behind the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees and qualifying for the expanded postseason. The Blue Jays have been swept in two video games throughout a first-round collection by the eventual AL champion Rays.

“I believe they’re proper there,” Springer stated of Toronto. “If you play towards this staff like I’ve, you possibly can see the expertise, may see the potential of their lineup, of their employees, of their arms. I believe this staff is constructed to win, and I believe they will be constructed to win for a very long time.”

Crew president Mark Shapiro stated Springer was “clearly a very good match” for the rising Blue Jays.

“His expertise will add a sure degree of knowledge to our gamers,” Shapiro stated. “He is been locations the place our guys have not been but and is aware of how you can deal with these environments.”

In seven seasons, Springer has a .270 profession common with 174 residence runs and 458 RBIs, together with profession bests of .292 with 39 homers and 96 RBIs in 2019.

Apart from Springer, Toronto additionally has signed right-handers Kirby Yates and Tyler Chatwood prior to now week. The Blue Jays have a pending $18 million, one-year deal with infielder Marcus Semien, topic to a profitable bodily.

“We have taken the following step and we’ll see the place that takes us,” normal supervisor Ross Atkins stated.

Shapiro insisted the Blue Jays nonetheless have flexibility so as to add payroll, more likely to strengthen the rotation, however stated “the majority of our heavy lifting is completed.”

Springer cut up time between middle discipline and proper with the Astros, however is predicted to develop into a fixture in middle for the Blue Jays. He is additionally more likely to lead off Toronto’s batting order.

“It is no secret that George is a good leadoff hitter,” supervisor Charlie Montoyo stated.

“I am prepared to do no matter it’s they need me to do,” Springer stated. “I am right here for the staff, I am right here to win, so no matter they need me to do, I am going to gladly do it.”

Springer stated the Blue Jays contacted him early within the free-agency course of, placing him in “an excellent mind-set” proper from the primary name.

“When you might have a younger, proficient group that is already in place, it is clearly very, very engaging as a result of you already know what they might doubtlessly do,” he stated.

Springer’s contract is the second $100 million-plus deal in staff historical past. In December 2006, middle fielder Vernon Wells and the Blue Jays agreed to a $126 million, seven-year contract.

Underneath new proprietor Steve Cohen, the New York Mets have been stated to be desirous about Springer, however on Wednesday the outfielder would not deal with their pursuit.

“That is concerning the Blue Jays,” Springer stated. “I do not actually have something to say on that matter. I am extraordinarily blissful to be the place I’m.”

Springer was extra open to addressing Toronto’s curiosity in good friend and former teammate Michael Brantley, who rejoined the Astros for a $32 million, two-year deal.

“I speak to Mike as a good friend most likely daily,” Springer stated. “It isn’t my enterprise to ask him all that stuff. I used to be looking forward to it however, finally, I am blissful for him.”

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