Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: 2021 off-season targets and how they’ve fared early this year

Mar 6, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer against the San Diego Padres during a Spring Training game at Camelback Ranch Glendale. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer against the San Diego Padres during a Spring Training game at Camelback Ranch Glendale. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA – MARCH 25: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees hits a single off of Matt Moore of the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning of a spring training game on March 25, 2021 at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA – MARCH 25: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees hits a single off of Matt Moore of the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning of a spring training game on March 25, 2021 at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

D.J. LeMahieu

A player that was high on the Blue Jays list this off-season, D.J. LeMahieu was close to signing with the Jays before deciding to return back to the New York Yankees on a six-year, $90 million dollar deal. The Blue Jays reportedly offered the second baseman a deal around four years and $78 million, but the slugger choose to return to the Yankees, a reunion that many people saw coming.

In three games so far this season, LeMahieu has 11 at-bats and a .273/.429/.273 slash line. Leading the Yankees at the top of the batting order, the Silver Slugger award winner has three hits and three walks with one RBI and no home runs while facing the Blue Jays in the 2021 series opener.

Justin Turner

An option at third base for Toronto, Justin Turner was linked to the Blue Jays as the Los Angeles Dodgers were reaching the luxury tax threshold and the Jays needed a third baseman with Travis Shaw being non-tendered. In the end, Turner would return to the Dodgers on a two-year, $34 million dollar contract, and Cavan Biggio is the go-to guy at the hot corner for the Jays.

Through three games this season, Turner has three starts under his belt and a .364/.429/.455 slash line. In 11 at-bats, the veteran has four hits, four RBI, and two walks while striking out three times. He currently sports a .883 OPS.

Michael Brantley

An outfield option for the Blue Jays, Michael Brantley was reported to have signed a deal with the organization before the news was refuted by the organization and he ended up returning to the Houston Astros on a two-year contract.

In three games against the Oakland Athletics, Brantley had nine at-bats and currently sports a .667/.727/1.44 slash line with six hits and one home run. Brantley currently has two RBI, one walk, and one strikeout early in the season.

Ha-Seong Kim

One of the top international free agents posted this off-season, infielder Ha-Seong Kim was high on the Blue Jays list for potential options up the middle. Ross Atkins and co. reportedly made numerous offers for Kim’s services but he eventually signed with the San Diego Padres.

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Kim made the Opening Day roster for the Padres and has appeared in three games so far this season, once as a starter and twice as a pinch hitter. His slash line through six at-bats is .333/.333/.333 with two hits, one RBI, and two strikeouts with a .667 OPS.

J.T. Realmuto

The premium catcher on the free-agent market this off-season, the Toronto Blue Jays did express interest in J.T. Realmuto, a righty slugger who had spent the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies prior to this past winter. While the interest appears to be no more than tire kicking, Realmuto would eventually re-sign with the Phillies on a five-year, $115.5 million dollar contract.

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The catcher has played three games so far this season, with two of them being behind the plate and one plate appearance in a pinch-hit scenario. In nine at-bats, Realmuto currently has a .444/.500/.667 line with one RBI and one strikeout.

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