Blue Jays: Christian Yelich should be an offseason priority

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25: Christian Yelich
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25: Christian Yelich /

The Toronto Blue Jays need to find a way to become younger and more athletic this offseason in order to contend in the always competitive American League East. The Miami Marlins may have a huge piece of the Blue Jays offseason puzzle in outfielder Christain Yelich.

The 25-year old will not come cheap and will undoubtedly cost the Blue Jays a blue-chip prospect as well as some decent complimentary pieces with upside. However, if the Jays could land the likes of a Christian Yelich without subtracting from their core, the deal would instantly alter the complexion of the team.

Yelich slashed .282/.369/..439 with 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts in 156 contests last season. The former 1st round selection in the 2010 amateur draft sports a .290 career average with a 17.7 WAR through his first five seasons in the majors.

The toolsy center fielder is a former Gold Glove recipient, taking home the honour in 2014 coupled with his Silver Slugger award in 2016. Yelich has predominantly spent his career patrolling left field however made the switch to center field in 2017.

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The most intriguing part surrounding Yelich is the team friendly deal the youngster signed that will keep him under team control until 2022. Yelich will earn $7 million in 18, $9.75 million in 19, $12.5 million in 20, $14 million in 21, and a $15 million team option in 22.

The Marlins new ownership led by Derek Jeter is looking to cut salary and put their fingerprint on the organization. The likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon have all been mentioned in trade rumblings but the Jays need to focus their attention to Yelich and make an offer too good to refuse.

Perhaps an offer built around Anthony Alford complimented with prospects Dalton Pompey, Rowdy Tellez and Sean Reid-Foley as upside pieces would get the Marlins attention.

The Jays are building for the future but this is a deal that sets you up for the next five years as Yelich is by no means a rental or aging player on the downside of thirty. This deal would solidify the outfield defence and add some much-needed speed to the lineup.

Next: Blue Jays payroll including salary arbitration projections

These are the types of deals the Blue Jays need to make especially with a thin crop of available young, athletic free agents on the market.