Predictions by: Tim Dierkes and Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumours
The top left-handed third baseman this offseason, Kyle Seager is a free agent after the Seattle Mariners decided not to pick up his club option. The Nort Carolina product has been one of the club’s top players over the past decade, owning a .251/.321/.442 with a .763 OPS through 5561 at-bats. While the power is still there, evident by his 35 home runs last season, Seager did see a dramatic drop in his slash line and posted one of the lowest OPS stats of his career.
For the Blue Jays, Seager checks off a few boxes:
- Left-handed power bat in the lineup
- Experienced third baseman
- Veteran leadership and experience
Depending on what the price tag will be, Seager heading to the Blue Jays makes sense but could be a contract to regret if he continues to post career-low slash lines. Adding a lefty-bat could provide some power at the top of the lineup but if he continues to trend downwards, the deal could turn sour very quickly.
Predictions by: Anthony Franco at MLB Trade Rumours and David Lesky at SB Nation
An eleven-year veteran of the Major Leagues, Eduardo Escobar heads to free agency in a class that does not boast an extensive amount of depth at third base. Behind Seager and Kris Bryant, Escobar will be one of the names clubs will consider for a solution at third base. The Venezuelan product spent last season split between the Diamondbacks and Brewers, slashing .253/.314/.472 with 28 home runs and a .786 OPS.
Escobar could be a solid solution for the Jays as he has experience at both second and third base. If Marcus Semien does leave this offseason and the club wants to use an internal prospect for third, the switch hitter could be an improvement over Cavan Biggio up the middle with Bo Bichette.
This move makes sense if the clubs miss out on Seager or do not trade for Jose Ramirez or Matt Chapman but the club could save money by using Santiago Espinal at the hot corner and going after Ray or Kevin Gausman for the rotation. MLB Trade Rumours predicts a short-term two-year deal worth $20 million.
Prediction by: Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumours
After splitting time with Washington and Boston last season, power-hitter Kyle Schwarber heads to free agency not tied to a qualifying offer after being traded midseason. He boosted his status with a strong 2021 campaign where he slashed .266/.374/.554 with 32 home runs and a .928 OPS while splitting time in left field and between first base and the DH spot when he joined the Red Sox.
Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumours predicts Schwarber will land with the Blue Jays but I personally don’t see this happening. He does add value as being a potential DH that hits from the left-side but defensively creates an even more crowded outfield situation. Unless they trade someone from the core like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. or Randal Grichuk or consider him as a DH only, Schwarber to the Blue Jays might not be in the cards, especially with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base as well.
Prediction by: David Lesky at SBNation
One of the more peculiar names to be linked to the Blue Jays this offseason, Nick Castellanos had a great season with the Cincinnati Reds last year, smacking 34 home runs with a .939 OPS. For his career, the outfielder sports a .278/.329/.486 with a .814 OPS with 168 home runs with 594 RBI through 4109 at-bats.
The Reds gave Castellanos a qualifying offer this offseason so he will be tied to draft pick compensation for any club that signs him. Unless the front office trades Gurriel Jr. or Grichuk or converts the recent Silver Slugger winner to third base, a position he hasn’t played since 2016, the addition of Castellanos doesn’t really make sense for the club.