As tough as it is to say, it feels like Kevin Kiermaier is not coming back to the Blue Jays next year. The speedy outfielder gave the Jays his all this season and is to seriously be commended for it. Not only did he tie the highest amount of games he's played since 2015 (129), but he hit his most home runs (8) since 2019 and his .741 OPS is the highest he's had since 2017.
The man showed up, exceeded expectations and is now likely to turn that in to a nice payday in free agency.
Sure, the 104 OPS+ and newfound durability was nice to see from Kiermaier, but his glove and overall defensive chops continue to be the very best part of his game. His Baseball Savant page is full of red (meaning he's near the top of the league) and he ranks amongst the best in the game in Range, which is determined based off of Outs Above Average, and Arm Strength.
In Kiermaier's case, it's not that he's going to be out of the Blue Jays' price range, but rather that he's going to be pushed out of town by Daulton Varsho. Popular theories amongst Jays fans revolve around Kiermaier walking, Varsho sliding over to center field, and the club bringing aboard a slugger to play left field. The more I've thought about it, the more I like that idea and could legitimately see it happening. Let's roll with that.