Blue Jays: Michael Saunders still searching for work
Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders still remains unsigned as the Canadian attempts to latch on with a new team in an attempt to salvage the remainder of his big league career.
Michael Saunders is becoming the MLB poster boy for just how difficult the game of baseball truly is and how easily one can go from hero to zero in the blink of an eye in the sport.
Rewind the clock back to 2016 where the Canuck was an All-Star and fans all over Canada were thrilled that a deal to flip Saunders for Jay Bruce was scrapped due to a botched physical from a minor leaguer involved in the deal.
Saunders had a disappointing 2017 campaign after signing a one-year pact with the Philadelphia Phillies. The 31-year old slashed .205/.257/.360 with 6 home runs in 61 games before the Phillies gave the outfielder his walking papers. The Canadian latched back on with the Jays only to be minor league depth, for the most part, seeing action in only 12 contests during the month of September with the big club.
The former 11th round pick of the Seattle Mariners owns a career .232/.305/.397 line with 81 homers and a 5.6 WAR in 775 games over the course of his 9-year career.
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It is unlikely the Jays take another flier on the aging Saunders with their plethora of outfielders at both the major and minor league ranks. At this stage of the game and the available talent still remaining on the free agent market, Saunders will be lucky to secure a minor league deal with an invite to spring training with his new employer. Unfortunately for Saunders, he will not get a sniff anywhere near the $8 million he earned last season with the Phillies.
Saunders is not that far removed from his 24 home run season in 2016 and could be a serviceable cost effective fourth outfield option for a team lacking outfield depth. It’s possible with consistent playing time Saunders rekindles some of his previous success and catches lightning in a bottle.
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It will be interesting to see where the chips fall and what type of opportunity Saunders is eventually afforded in 2018. Unfortunately for Saunders, that ship has sailed with the Blue Jays.