The offseason is only a couple of weeks old and the Toronto Blue Jays appear to be pretty active in the free agent/trade market. They have already had contract discussions with recent free agents Robbie Ray and Marcus Semien while also presenting Steven Matz with a multi-year deal, which was ultimately turned down. The club has also expressed interest in Andrew Heaney (signed with the Dodgers) as well as starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez while also checking in with the Miami Marlins in regards to some of their starting pitchers as well.
Overall, the Jays have busted out of the gates hard and while there have been no official deals yet, this is at least an encouraging sign for a club looking to improve in a hotly contested AL East division.
While this year’s free-agent class is stacked, President/CEO Mark Shapiro did mention that the Blue Jays could use some of their prospect/player depth in order to improve the roster. Considering the organization lost two of its top prospects last season in exchange for Jose Berrios, there is one player the club could dangle who still has a few years of control but also possesses big league experience.
Drafted by the club in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Cavan Biggio is a versatile and athletic player that could be a possible name to put up on the trade wire this offseason. A lefty batter, Biggio sports a career .235/.354/.408 slash line with 31 home runs, 103 RBI, and a .762 OPS through 238 games. This past year was a struggle for Biggio, as he only suited up in 79 games while battling various injuries but also struggled out of the gate, sporting a batting average below the Mendoza line until about mid-May.
Defensively, Biggio fits into the utility player mold that is only seen on a handful of teams. He did start out as the club’s primary third baseman but after the injuries and the emergence of Santiago Espinal, the Notre Dame alum was moved to the outfield, first base, and second base to finish the season.
The Blue Jays are looking at a few different options to improve the squad for next season and one trade candidate the club could dangle for other teams is utility player Cavan Biggio.
His calling card is the ability for him to play multiple positions but also his knack for getting on base, evident by his 107 OPS+ and his 5.4 bWAR over the past three seasons (with one shortened due to COVID and one due to injury). As per Spotrac, Biggio is also scheduled to go through four years of arbitration (starting this offseason) and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2025 campaign.
What potentially makes Biggio appealing is not only his eye at the plate and ability to hit from the left side but also the fact that he can play a variety of positions with enough defensive awareness that he isn’t a liability when you put him in multiple areas. Factor in that he is arbitration controlled for at least another four years and the Blue Jays could use the Texas product as part of a trade package this offseason.
Clubs like the Cleveland Guardians and the Miami Marlins could utilize a player of Biggio’s control and caliber while the Oakland Athletics could emerge as a potential trade partner considering the organization is looking to slash payroll and potentially rebuild. Any deal for players on these teams will 100% need more than just Biggio to get a deal done but it is at least a bargaining chip at the table that could keep some of the top prospects in the organization without hurting the current roster. If Marcus Semien does not return next year, Otto Lopez or a potential free agent signing could fill in at second while Espinal, Kevin Smith, and Jordan Groshans could handle third base duties if no outside resources are brought in, as well as the outfield core already being crowded at the moment.
One caveat that the club would have to deal with is that his 2021 campaign was rough from a few different angles, potentially dropping his value compared to the two prior seasons. He should still hold some value and currently holds a 12 rating on the Trade Simulator. He is also one of the only left-handed bats on the lineup right now, meaning if he does get traded and the club does not pick up a lefty-bat either trade or via free agency, the batting order will be dominated by righties. Not necessarily a bad thing but something to keep in mind.
With his skill set and controllable years, Cavan Biggio is one name the Blue Jays could use this offseason as part of a trade package to improve the 2022 roster and beyond.