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Things aren't quite going as planned for the 2024 Toronto Blue Jays, to the point that there have been whispers that foundational pieces Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette may be at least dangled in the trade market this coming summer. 

If the Jays' front office has its way, that won't be the case. General manager Ross Atkins said on MLB Network Radio Sunday that their goal is to extend the duo instead of trade them. 

"Of course we have dialogue with them and that's something that will continue," he said. "We believe in them, we believe in their futures and hope there's a way they can play here for a long time."

Guerrero and Bichette are both legacies and debuted for the Blue Jays in 2019, quickly establishing themselves as star players in their own right instead of simply riding the coattails of their fathers (Vlad Sr. and Dante, respectively). Bichette is a two-time All-Star who has gotten down-ballot MVP votes three different seasons. Guerrero is a three-time All-Star and an MVP runner-up (to Shohei Ohtani in his first full two-way season). With the two as lineup fixtures, the Jays have made the playoffs two of the last three years while winning 91 games in the season they missed the postseason. 

Absent contract extensions, they are both set to hit free agency after next season. 

This season, the Blue Jays enter Sunday floundering at 27-30 and in last place in the AL East. 

Guerrero is hitting .292/.390/.406 (132 OPS+) with 10 doubles, five homers and 25 RBI. The concern there is his lack of power, especially given his 48-homer season in 2021 and that he's a first baseman. Of course, the Jays are starting him at third base Sunday for the first time since 2019 (he appeared there in 2022, but only for two innings and didn't start). Atkins said on the radio that Guerrero will continue to "get some starts" at third, so this doesn't appear to be a one-off. 

Bichette is hitting .241/.289/.349 (84 OPS+) with nine doubles, a triple, four homers, 25 RBI, 19 runs and 0.1 WAR. It looks like the worst season of his career by a decent margin. 

The thought process behind a potential trade of either is that the Blue Jays are stale and underperforming and could use a change. Both players would still have significant value on the trading block, considering their age, respective career pedigrees and the extra year of control instead of serving as rental players. 

It sounds like, at least for now, Atkins and his Blue Jays' front office would rather keep the two and build around them. 

"It doesn't make any sense for us," Atkins said Sunday. "There will be occasional times when you're talking to other executives and they'll ask if you'll consider and we just say it's not something we have spent any time on. Because they're so talented and such great teammates, they are attractive to other teams, so they will call."  

This is where the trade whispers originate. Per Atkins, there's nothing to them right now. 

Things can change, however, and the Jays will certainly try to extend both players if they truly want to build around them. As such, it'll be interesting to follow this situation for the next two months.