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Olney says Blue Jays front office should 'acknowledge the reality of what's going on'

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The last-place Toronto Blue Jays hold a 28-31 record as they enter their 60th game of the season Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles

The Jays were 32-27 through 59 games last season before finishing with 89 wins and a wild card spot in the American League. 

Despite concerning play over the first two months of the season, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins doesn't seem too inclined to start taking calls regarding core players Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“It just doesn’t make any sense for us,” Atkins told MLB Network Radio over the weekend in regards to trading either Bichette or Guerrero Jr. “There will be occasional times as you’re talking to other executives that they’ll ask if you’ll consider. And we just say it’s not something that we have spent any time on.

"But because they’re so talented and such great teammates they are attractive to other teams. So they will call. I was disappointed to see a report that that was something another executive had commented on about our team. But it just doesn’t make sense."

Both Bichette and Guerrero Jr. are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents for the first time in their careers following the 2025 season. 

ESPN's Buster Olney joined TSN 1050's First Up on Tuesday morning and said the Blue Jays should acknowledge the reality of their situation and consider changing their messaging to prepare fans for possible major player movement. 

"I think at this point after what happened last season and what happened during the off-season and what's happened so far this season, you got to change the communication, you got to change the messaging," Olney explained. "Maybe it truly reflects how they're feeling in the building, but more likely it doesn't reflect what they're feeling in the building, and you know what, that would be appropriate too." 

"I think it would be better at this point to acknowledge the reality of what's going on as opposed to being at the helm of the Titanic, you've hit the iceberg and saying "all is well!" 

If the Blue Jays don't start seeing an improvement in the standings, they could very well become sellers ahead of the July 30 trade deadline. 

So what does the league think of Bichette and Guerrero Jr.?

"They're not viewed as Mookie Betts. Neither one of these guys, in terms of their potential going forward," Olney said. "Bo Bichette, I think it's going to be the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. You've seen some really great stuff and you've seen some stuff that you're not that excited about." 

After finishing in the top 10 in hits in each of the past three seasons, the 26-year-old Bichette has struggled in 2024, hitting .236 with four home runs and 25 RBIs.

Olney added that he believes New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is a good comparable to Guerrero Jr. as he is also seeking a major contract when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

"The Mets, the richest team in baseball, have not come close to signing him because the two sides are miles apart what they believe to be peak value in the market place," Olney said.

If the Blue Jays find themselves in a similar situation with their contract negotiations with Guerrero they shouldn't hesitate too long to make a tough decision, said Olney. 

"I think that there's been enough evidence with the Blue Jays [that] they can have an internal discussion about 'is this someone we want to invest in?' And if the answer is no. If the messaging you're getting back from his representatives is he's looking for a price you're willing not to pay, then talk about him, move him because there are teams right now, the Cubs potentially, the Giants, there are big-market teams who would be willing to take a shot at him and give you something in return," Olney remarked. 

After a slow start to the season, Guerrero, 25, is getting more consistent at the plate as of late, hitting .295 with six homers, 27 RBIs and an .808 OPS.