Blue Jays: Should the team go after a full-time designated hitter?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 02: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 02, 2021 in New York City. The Rays defeated the Yankees 12-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 02: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 02, 2021 in New York City. The Rays defeated the Yankees 12-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Blue Jays head into the offseason with a few key players potentially not returning, with the two main position players being Marcus Semien and Corey Dickerson. While losing Dickerson would not be the end of the world, the Jays and their fanbase have been pretty vocal about wanting the former Oakland A’s shortstop to return to the team for the foreseeable future.

It makes sense considering he put up some of the best numbers of his career in Toronto, a .265/.334/.538 slash line with a .873 OPS, comparing well to his previous best season back in 2019 when he placed third in MVP voting. Semien also found his power stroke in The Six, smashing 45 long balls on his way to breaking Davey Johnson’s record for the most home run in a single season by a second baseman.

With Semien in the lineup, the Blue Jays also posted some of the best offensive numbers across the Major Leagues, leading in OPS (.796), home runs (262), and slugging (.466) while finishing second in terms of batting average (.266), hits (1455), and RBI (816).

If the Blue Jays do lose Semien to free agency, there will be not only a hole at second base but a big bat missing in the lineup every day. Cavan Biggio will most likely slot into second or potentially one of the Blue Jays up and coming prospects unless they bring in someone via free agency, but they will be missing that big bat in the lineup and could look to make up some of these runs by bringing in a full time designated hitter.

The club really hasn’t had a dedicated player in the DH role for a few years now but there are a few names heading to free agency who could provide that fill that role and add a power bat to the lineup.

The Blue Jays may lose a few important players to free agency and could look to bringing in a full-time DH to supplement the lost run support.

Two players who stand out on the list are Nelson Cruz and Jorge Soler, who was recently named the World Series MVP with the Atlanta Braves.

Cruz is a full-on DH at this point in his career and has been in the role for pretty much the past five-six seasons, splitting time between the outfield and first base on the rare occasion. The 41-year-old still has some serious pop in his bat, evident by his .265/.334/.497 slash line and 32 home runs split between the Twins and Rays last year. For the right price, he could become the Jays full-time DH and slot in to add some extra firepower alongside George Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at the top of the lineup.

Soler is another interesting name as he still splits his time between the outfield and the DH and had to play the field when he was traded to the Braves because the National League doesn’t have the DH in effect. Having him on the squad could make the outfield core a little crowded unless he becomes a dedicated hitter-only type player or the Jays find a way to trade Randal Grichuk this offseason. The righty batter is coming off a strong finish with the Braves but did struggle with the Royals to begin the campaign, finishing with a .223/.316/.432 slash line with 27 home runs and a .749 OPS.

The club could also decide to bring back Dickerson, especially since he is a left-handed bat with some pop. He would most likely not be a candidate for the DH-only role, considering he is still effective as an outfielder. His addition would make the club a bit crowded with five major league outfielders on the roster, meaning the club might avoid a reunion unless someone from the core gets traded this offseason.

The dedicated DH really only makes sense for the Jays if they do find a way to get rid of Grichuk’s contract, mostly because right now the club could easily rotate through all the outfielders or use Alejandro Kirk in the spot if he isn’t catching that day. Kirk could provide the same type of output as compared to Soler or Cruz but it will have to depend on whether the club balances him between starting alongside Danny Jansen and in the DH role or having him sit on the bench when he is not catching and let the fourth outfielder hit instead.

Next. Important dates and what to look forward to this offseason. dark

What do you think Blue Jays fans?