four realistic targets

Blue Jays’ Four Realistic Targets This Offseason

Bringing Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto or Cody Bellinger seems a bit challenging for the Toronto Blue Jays when many big-market teams (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Rangers, New York Yankees, or New York Mets) are pursuing the same stars. This reduces the number of targets that the Jays may be hitting in their quest to get a more balanced team, which inspires fear at the plate.

Considering their needs (a third baseman, a left fielder, a designated hitter, and a second baseman, in that order), the Blue Jays could look at these four free agents who do not have celebrity status but could help the team boost its offense, at a reasonable price.

Four Affordable Players the Blue Jays Could Bring Onboard

Jeimer Candelario (3B)

If re-signing Matt Chapman becomes unaffordable (the third baseman is looking for a multi-year deal and over 25 million dollars per year), Jeimer Candelario, even with his career ups and downs and average defense, is one short/medium-term alternative the Jays could explore. He had a breakthrough year with the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs: he drove in 70 runs and smacked 22 home runs; his numbers were similar to George Springer’s. According to Spotrac, Candelario may be looking for a three-year and 33 million deal. Hiring him may make room to spend more in other spots.

Rhys Hoskins (LF)

The first baseman and left fielder Rhys Hoskins missed the entire past season (knee injury) and the Phillies lost his 30-home run caliber production. If the Jays are willing to take that road, they will have to pay the 30-year-old slugger around 20 million dollars per year according to Jon Heyman, or 21 million (Spotrac). As they need one corner outfielder with power (Hoskins has a lifetime 125 OPS+), it makes sense the Jays enter the bid for his right-handed bat.

Justin Turner (DH)

The Jays need a designated hitter to fill the spot Brandon Belt left and Justin Turner, if they are not concerned about age and a possible regression, may provide the impact they need. Turner put solid numbers in 2023 for the Boston Red Sox: he had a career-high 96 runs batted in number and his second-best extra bases mark (54). Among the Jays, only Matt Chapman and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit more extra bases than him last year. Spotrac estimates Turner, who could also play first base, may make around 17 million dollars for two years or a number close to 9 million in a one-year deal, the latter could make more sense for the Jays’ winning-now bet.

Amed Rosario (2B)

An everyday shortstop who started playing second base in 2023, Amed Rosario will provide depth and versatility to the Jays’ infield. The former Met is an affordable asset (his market value per season lies around 6.5 million dollars) with a decent bat and speed. His addition may allow Bo Bichette to DH or take the day off occasionally. Signing him and letting him play a platoon role with Craig Biggio may force the organization to decide what to do with someone with similar traits like Santiago Espinal, and push Davis Schneider to cover the outfield corners.

If the Jays decide to add these four pieces their payroll in 2024 will rise by around 50 million dollars and will have room to offer attractive extension deals to Bichette and Guerrero Jr., still Toronto’s franchise cornerstones.

Main Image: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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