According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays are quietly lurking around some of the high profile free agents like J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain.
The Blue Jays have had an unusually uneventful offseason thus far however that could all change according to Heyman who tabs the Jays as an under the radar team with interest in J.D. Martinez and would give Lorenzo Cain consideration but aren’t necessarily in the market for a center fielder.
Heyman also divulges that the Jays have had discussions with free agents Carlos Gonzalez, Eduardo Nunez and could see Howie Kendrick making sense. Discussions with the Padres have also occurred with the Jays focussing on the Friars relievers including Brad Hand.
Here is a look at Heyman’s Blue Jays related comments in his most recent article:
"The Jays are an under-the-radar team with interest in J.D. Martinez, as was mentioned here first. He makes sense with Edwin Encarnacion gone and Jose Bautista as good as gone.They have also talked to Carlos Gonzalez.They’d consider Lorenzo Cain, but they don’t really have a center field need since they have Kevin Pillar.They’ve talked to the Padres about relievers, including Brad Hand.They’ve talked about Eduardo Nunez. Howie Kendrick could make some sense there, as well."
Martinez is reportedly seeking a contract in the neighborhood of $160-$200 million and although he provides a potent dynamic bat, his defense sometimes gets called into question. Martinez would slot well into the Jays outfield lineup with the loss of Jose Bautista, however, the term of the deal may be a hard sell for Ross Atkins and company.
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Brad Hand is a sought after back of the bullpen type arm that will undoubtedly have a lofty price tag attached to him if the Jays are able to pry him out of San Diego. The 27-year old had a 2.16 earned run average while fanning 104 and earning 21 saves in 79.1 innings of work. Hand is not eligible for free agency until 2020 but is set for a raise this offseason after earning a modest $1.375 million in 2017.
The Jays have been linked to Cain, Gonzalez, and Nunez at various points throughout the offseason although it is unknown if it is just them doing their due diligence or if there is a legitimate interest. Cargo could be a nice buy-low option on a one-year deal as the outfielder attempts to increase his market value. Gonzalez is also familiar with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from their days together in Colorado.
Regardless of the brain trusts lack of activity thus far this offseason, it still appears the Jays are poised to improve and make additions that will propel them back into contention in 2018.