Blue Jays: Looking ahead at the FA outfield market
Top tier options
The 31 year old has had an excellent season with the Kansas City Royals, poising himself for a pretty solid pay day, and likely a guaranteed ticket to a new team. He’ll be among the pricier options, but he could be worth looking at if the market doesn’t treat him the way he and his agent are hoping for.
He’s hit .303/.366/.446 with 14 home runs, 46 RBI, and has earned 4.5 WAR in 2017. He’s also swiped 24 bags, and managed to stay healthy throughout the campaign, something he’s struggled with a bit throughout his career.
The problem with Cain of course, is that his game largely relies on speed, and that’s a difficult thing for someone on the wrong side of 30 to retain. He is an excellent hitter as well, but his speed and defence have been his main calling card throughout his career, so it’s hard to say what he’ll be bringing to the table as a 35 year old.
Probability of being a Blue Jay?= C
Martinez was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it’s worked out well for for his new club. He’s hit 40 home runs, has 90 RBI, and has earned 3.6 WAR as an corner outfielder. He sports a slash line of .297/.374/.679 (!), and has improved on his strong first half performance since the trade.
Despite the fact that he’s loaded with talent, this one is a big long shot for the Blue Jays. He’ll be expensive, and he also profiles as the type of hitter the Blue Jays have relied on for the last number of years, a philosophy they seem intent on getting away from.
Probably of being a Blue Jay= D
Brantley has an option for 11 million next year in Cleveland, and would cost them a cool million to buy him out. I think he’s got too much upside for Cleveland to give up on him at that price, but if they decide otherwise then I think he’s a very interesting possibility, though the Blue Jays may be reluctant to bring in another injury prone player.
Probability of being a Blue Jay= D-