Blue Jays: Players the club missed out on this past off-season

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 30: Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros rounds third base en route to score during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 30, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 30: Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros rounds third base en route to score during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 30, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
HOUSTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 07: Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros doubles in the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on September 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Michael Brantley

The man who was almost a Blue Jay. Almost.

Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2005, outfielder Michael Brantley is known for being a prominent bat in the order, carving out a career .298/.355/.440 slash line with a .796 OPS, 122 home runs, and 685 RBI. He spent ten years with Cleveland before heading to the Houston Astros in 2019, a change of scenery that has seen him earn two all-star appearances in two seasons (there was no game last year with the COVID-19 shortened campaign). He owns a .845 OPS with the Astros organization.

It looked like the Blue Jays were done adding outfielders when they signed George Springer but low and behold, it seemed like Brantley was set to be joining the Jays organization as well. There were reports coming from Hazel Mae that Brantley and the Blue Jays were in agreement on a three-year deal that had beat reporters from across the league reporting on the contract and looking like a deal was in place.

With the Blue Jays currently in the mix for the AL Wild Card, this article takes a look back at the previous off-season and some of the players the club missed out on who could have made a real difference this season.

Fast forward to later in the day and the deal was being refuted and Brantley ended up re-signing with the Houston Astros on a two-year, $32 million dollar contract. This was obviously a big blow to Blue Jays fans that were hoping to see Brantley join the outfield ranks, even though they were already a bit crowded with Springer, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Randal Grichuk, and Teoscar Hernandez in the fold.

This season, Brantley is sporting a stellar .316/.368/.442 line with eight home runs, 45 RBI, and a .809 OPS. While the logistics of where he would be playing defensively would be a tough question to answer given the current core, with Springer dealing with injuries for a good chunk of the season and Grichuk struggling a month ago after his hot start, having Brantley’s bat at the top of the order would have definitely helped the club climb the rankings and potentially be in a better spot to play postseason baseball.