Ahead of the 2021 MLB season, the Toronto Blue Jays have a third base problem. In 2020, Travis Shaw was the Blue Jays' primary third baseman, but he's a free agent now after he was non-tendered by the Jays. Prior to Shaw, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had been trying his hand at third base, but he was shifted to first base and designated hitter.
The move for Vlad Jr. was expected in the long-run, but making the move so early in his career came off as surprising. However, now, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters, including USA Today's Bob Nightengale, on Friday that Guerrero will be given every opportunity to win the third base job in 2021. "You don't close a door to a talent like that," Montoyo said.
At the time, the decision to move Guerrero to first base/DH had to do in part with a knee injury (strain to his patella tendon) he suffered during the 2018 season. Now healthy, Guerrero apparently has his sights on returning as the everyday third baseman. Earlier this month, Guerrero expressed interest in playing third in 2021.
During this offseason, Guerrero was granted permission to play in the Dominican Winter League. The 6-foot-2 infielder has reportedly lost 20 pounds since the end of the season, dropping to 245 pounds. Staying in shape this winter and continuing to develop his athletic abilities in the infield could benefit him in his bid to return to third base.
The Blue Jays were already tied to free agent third baseman Justin Turner this offseason. Turner is expected to re-up with the Dodgers, but would fit nicely as Toronto's everyday third baseman. That'd make the Toronto infield for 2021 as follows: Guerrero at first, Cavan Biggio at second, Bo Bichette at short and Turner at third.