Blue Jays: Numerous Top 50 free agents still remain unsigned
The Toronto Blue Jays have yet to dip into the Top 50 free agent class this offseason, however, 16 players still remain unsigned from MLB Trade Rumors yearly rankings.
The Blue Jays recently inked David Phelps and Matt Shoemaker but aside from the veteran hurlers, they have primarily shied away from free agents in an offseason focussed on youth and rebuilding. MLB Trade Rumors had predicted the Jays landing 30th ranked Trevor Cahill but the hurler signed a one-year deal with the Angels.
The top two free agents in Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are jockeying to see who signs first and sets the market for the other. In all likelihood, both should sign in the coming days but their suitors seemed surprisingly limited.
Aside from the big two, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, and A.J. Pollock are all Top 10 names still looking for new employers. The trio is all realistically out of the Blue Jays price range but Keuchel could solidify the Jays rotation on a short-term deal.
Marwin Gonzalez is the only free agent available in the second tier of free agents in the 11-20 range. The 30-year old is a super utility player who could offer the Jays new skipper with positional flexibility on the diamond. MLB Trade Rumors predicted he would sign a 4 year/ $36 million dollar deal with the Twins.
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Pitcher Gio Gonzalez seemed like a good fit for the Jays earlier in the offseason, however, the acquisition of Clayton Richard and signing of Matt Shoemaker have probably closed the door on any chance of a Gonzalez signing. Gonzalez was ranked 27th and is the only free agent left in the 21-30 free agent group.
The 31-40 tier includes veterans Mike Moustakas (35th), Nick Markakis (38th) and Bud Norris (40th). Norris could be a fit for the Blue Jays in the bullpen if they can secure him on the cheap. He was predicted to sign a two-year/ $12 million dollar pact.
The final group of Top 50 free agents include Brad Brach (41st), Wade Miley (42), Adam Jones (46th), Martin Maldonado (47th), Ervin Santana (49th) and Drew Pomeranz (50th). Jones would acutally be a great clubhouse leader and his .281 average and 15 homers last season would be a welcomed addition into the lineup. The only issue is he would take at-bats away from the kids mainly Billy McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez.
It will be interesting to see if the Blue Jays venture into the Top 50 before the start of spring training, there is no question some pieces still available that could help the rebuilding Blue Jays get to where they want to go sooner than later.