LHH power bat options
The Jays feature a mostly RHH lineup, with the only current left-handed bats on the roster being Cavan Biggio, Raimel Tapia, and Bradley Zimmer. Those three have combined for only three home runs, and all have a below-league-average OPS+. Until Sunday’s improbable come-from-behind win against the Yankees bullpen, tough right-handed relievers have been able to shut down the Jays’ bats late in games. They don’t have to change their pitching approach from batter to batter because they mostly only face right-handed hitters. A power LHH bat might help with that?
So who might be available?
As discussed above, would one each of Hernandez/Gurriel Jr., and Jansen/Kirk be a starting point for a conversation as part of a blockbuster trade package for Juan Soto? Adding in pending free agent switch-hitter Josh Bell would also bring much-needed balance (and LHH power) to the batting order, and you’d have a new ‘core four’ of Soto, Vlad Jr., Bichette and Manoah, all aged 23-24.
Jesse Winkler and Adam Frazier of the Seattle Mariners might also be of interest. Winkler, 28, had a breakout season in 2021 in Cincinnati, and won’t be a free agent eligible until 2024. He has struggled in his first year in Seattle after being traded in March but has a left-handed power bat while being able to hit for average through his career, averaging 24 HRs and 73 RBI with a .277/.376/.473/.849 slash line with a 123 OPS+ per 162 games.
The Blue Jays front office has checked in on Adam Frazier before. The 30-year-old pending free agent has struggled this season with Seattle but has a career slash line of .276/.339/.401/.741 which might prove useful as a lefty bat off the bench in the postseason.
What do you think Jays fans? Given the Blue Jays are in “playoffs or bust” mode, with deep postseason aspirations, should the front office be making some moves for a starter, relief depth and a LHH power bat ahead of the August 2nd trade deadline? Recall that both Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards were added in late June and early July, respectively, last year, so the trade window is almost upon us. It should be an interesting six weeks leading up to the deadline.