New Jays OF Springer sees echoes of Astros in Toronto's core

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2020, file photo, Houston Astros' George Springer takes a lead off first during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Springer became the most prominent among baseballs free agents to reach an agreement, a $150 million, six-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night, Jan. 19, 20201, because the deal was subject to a successful physical. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2020, file photo, Houston Astros' George Springer takes a lead off first during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Springer became the most prominent among baseballs free agents to reach an agreement, a $150 million, six-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night, Jan. 19, 20201, because the deal was subject to a successful physical. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TORONTO, ONT – George Springer thinks Toronto's promising young core is similar to the group he played with that led Houston to its first World Series title in 2017.

Springer and the Blue Jays agreed last week to a team-record $150 million, six-year contract. He joined a roster that includes young sluggers Vladimir Guerrero and Bo Bichette, The three-time All-Star outfielder was 2017 World Series MVP when he played with José Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa.

“This lineup reminds me a lot of them,” Springer said, wearing a Toronto cap and jersey during a video news conference. “It is a young lineup but it’s a very talented, advanced younger lineup. From everything I’ve seen, they’re very, very ambitious. They want to win, they work hard. That’s awesome to see.”

Toronto went 32-28 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, finishing third in the AL East behind Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees and qualifying for the expanded postseason. The Blue Jays swept in two games during a first-round series by the eventual AL champion Rays.

“I think they’re right there,” Springer said of Toronto. “When you play against this team like I have, you could see the talent, could see the potential in their lineup, in their staff, in their arms. I think this team is built to win, and I think they’re going to be built to win for a long time.”

Team president Mark Shapiro said Springer was “clearly a good fit” for the emerging Blue Jays.

“His experience will add a certain level of wisdom to our players,” Shapiro said. “He’s been places where our guys haven’t been yet and knows how to handle those environments.”

In seven seasons, Springer has a .270 career average with 174 home runs and 458 RBIs, including career bests of .292 with 39 homers and 96 RBIs in 2019.