Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Looking around the league for a contract to eat

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 4: The Toronto Blue Jays logo painted on the field during batting practice before the Toronto Blue Jays home opener prior to the start of their MLB game against the New York Yankees on April 4, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 4: The Toronto Blue Jays logo painted on the field during batting practice before the Toronto Blue Jays home opener prior to the start of their MLB game against the New York Yankees on April 4, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 19: Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 19, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 19: Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 19, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Dodgers- Matt Kemp or Rich Hill

Perhaps the fit that makes the most sense to me is with the Dodgers, who are going to be competing with the Red Sox in search of an elusive World Series title, for this group anyway.

Whether or not the Dodgers win the World Series, they’ll have some tall tasks this winter regardless. They’re facing the possibility of having to re-sign Clayton Kershaw, as well as Yasmani Grandal‘s impending free agency. They’re also carrying a couple of players with big contracts that they could arguably do without, and I’m sure they’ll explore offloading them after their season is over.

Matt Kemp had a big bounce back season in L.A., but that doesn’t mean the Dodgers will want to carry the 21.5 million he’s owed in 2019. He proved far more useful than they would have ever imagined, but there are also several much cheaper options on the outfield depth chart that should be able to handle the gig just fine. The Blue Jays don’t need outfielders either, but Kemp doesn’t require full-time at bats these days, and could be a decent mentor for the younger hitters.

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They also have Rich Hill under contract for one more season, one that will pay the left-hander a whopping 18 million, He’s been very good when he’s been healthy, but unfortunately he’s had struggles staying on the mound since becoming a Dodger. That said, his problem has primarily been with blister issues, so perhaps there is additional value in having him join Aaron Sanchez, and even Marcus Stroman, and passing on any advice to the younger starters that he may have learned.

The Dodger’s ownership group has notably deep pockets, but they’ve been spending a ton of money for several years now, and no one likes being hit by the luxury tax these days. If they’re willing to attach enough prospect value to one or both of Kemp or Hill, there could legitimately be a match here, especially with the latter. It’s possible the Dodgers still view Hill as an asset after a season with 24 starts and a 3.66 ERA, but his 18 million dollar salary, shaky recent injury history, and the fact that he turns 39 next year could add up to be enough to change their perspective.

https://twitter.com/PitchingNinja/status/1052383435052998657

None of the examples I’ve mentioned are perfect fits, and it’s hard to say whether or not ownership would approve a move for the front office anyway. However, it is a creative way to try and gain more prospect capital back in a greater hurry, and the Blue Jays should have plenty of payroll room. It’s possible that figure could drop as much as 40-50 million already, and that’s without trading any of the existing veteran contracts.

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It would have to be the right fit, but if taking on a high-salaried veteran for a season or two meant the Blue Jays could add another useful arm or two to the prospect stables, why not consider it?

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