5. Brett Lawrie — Free Agent
Brett Lawrie is spending a lot of time at home these days. Hey, he’s even taken up some dancing.
In the Instagram post published on March 27, he said “Still continuing to be me throughout the hardest time of my existence.”
The hardest times he is almost certainly speaking of is unemployment after being released by the Chicago White Sox on March 3.
Brought to Toronto from Milwaukee via the Shaun Marcum trade, Lawrie quickly became a fan favourite due to his fiery passion for the game. It’s also what made him a controversial player. Beset by various injuries, Lawrie never put it all together with the Blue Jays, although he gave glimpses of what he was capable of, posting a WAR of 4.5 in 2012.
Lawrie was also a defensive delight to watch at third base. Although he would sometimes be a bit inconsistent with his throws to first, not much got past him at the hot corner. In 2012, he was credited with 20 defensive runs saved, a number he has not come close to matching since.
Toronto eventually traded him to the Oakland Athletics in November 2014 in a deal that will live in Blue Jays infamy, as the Canadian team shipped Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Franklin Barreto and Sean Nolin to Oakland for Josh Donaldson, who would win an MVP the following season.
After a decent year with Oakland in 2015, Lawrie was traded to the White Sox, where he battled through more injuries and only played in 94 games. Still not 100 per cent, Chicago released him this spring. The Blue Jays, among other teams, expressed interest in him but Lawrie has chosen not to sign with any team until he is totally healthy.