The Toronto Blue Jays extended qualifying offers to both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion
Free agent outfielder Josh Reddick has caught the eye of the Toronto Blue Jays, according to a report this morning from Jon Morosi.
The club’s qualifying offer to Jose Bautista is still outstanding, however, and despite reports that the longtime Blue Jays star will decline, Morosi says that the Jays will wait to be certain.
Reddick is one of the market’s top outfield options and will secure a comfortable, multi-year deal worth over $12 million annually, though some projections have been more bullish.
On Thursday afternoon, Morosi also reported that the rival Baltimore Orioles have interest in Reddick, who comes without any draft pick compensation attached to his name after an in-season trade.
The 29-year-old offers potential suitors a safe chance at an above-average corner outfielder, but does not currently match the potential ceiling of fellow free agents Dexter Fowler or Yoenis Cespedes.
In 2016, Reddick played 115 games between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .281 with a .345 on-base percentage and 10 home runs. Reddick is not the defensive player he was earlier in his career, but still offers the Blue Jays a n upgrade from Bautista or Saunders in the field.
The factor of Jose Bautista’s qualifying offer is one that cannot be understated at this time of year, however. Regardless of how certain a team is that their player will decline an offer, front offices are still forced to proceed with caution when it comes to these situations.
Having a $17.2 million qualifying offer on the table is no small thing, and for the time being, that money does need to be considered “off limits” for other deals.
All players that have been issued qualifying offers have one week to accept or decline — that date is November 14th.