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Atkins on potential Guerrero, Bichette trades: ‘It just doesn’t make sense’

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bo Bichette Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bo Bichette - The Canadian Press

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins refuted reports the team is considering trading shortstop Bo Bichette and first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., saying Sunday a deal "wouldn't make any sense" for Toronto.

During an appearance on MLB Network Radio, Atkins said the team hasn't spent any time contemplating a deal and the focus remains on getting long-term extensions completed with each player.

“It just doesn’t make any sense for us,” Atkins said when asked about a potential trade of either star player. “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."

Regarding potential contract extensions for Guerrero and Bichette -- each is set to become free agents after the 2025 campaign -- Atkins said a dialogue remains ongoing.

"On extension, of course. We have dialogue with them and that is something that will continue. We believe in them, we believe in their futures and hope that there’s a way they can play here for a long time."'s Mark Feinsand reported earlier in May that one American League executive believed the Blue Jays might be open to the possibility of dealing the duo and have had discussions with other teams. USA Today's Bob Nightengale also reported last month that teams were keeping an eye on the Jays should they continue to struggle.

Toronto enters play Sunday at 27-30, last in the American League East division and two games out of the final AL wild card playoff spot.

Despite the team's struggles, Guerrero and Bichette each took steps forward offensively in the month of May. After posting a .577 OPS in March and April, Bichette slashed .280/.321/.410 with three home runs and 14 RBI in May. Guerrero was even better, posting a slash line of .357/.477/.469 with two homers and 14 RBI. Toronto finished the month at 12-12. 

“Both of them, especially in the month of May, have been very solid. Vladdy has been exceptional in May," Atkins said. "He had a slow start, some swing adjustments for him. But he is in a really, really strong place and as I mentioned, Bo had a strong May and that’s going to continue. Both of them just have such good feel for the barrel and such good feel for competing in the batter’s box that they’re going to perform."


Guerrero starts at third

Guerrero started at third base in Sunday's series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first time since his rookie season in 2019.

Toronto moved Guerrero from third base to first prior to the start of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He played two innings at third on April 20, 2021 and another two innings on July 16, 2022. 

"Really going to be a lot of fun today to see Vladdy playing third base – I don’t know if you saw that in the lineup yet – but that’s been something we’ve been working on collectively and he’ll get some starts there," Atkins told MLB Network Radio prior to first pitch.

"He’s got an incredible just ability and feel for baseball and for the game that I think his arm and his hands are going to allow for him to play some third base for us. And that’s another way for us to deploy lineups that maybe creates a little more offence."