As we approach the final month of 2023 season, the Toronto Blue Jays are currently in good position to contend for a playoff spot down the stretch. Despite having some ups and downs throughout the season, the entire group has in general done decently well with their current 71-59 record.
At the end of the season, the Blue Jays will have some key players entering free agency. Among those, there will be some that the Jays should try their best to retain to help maintain the success they had brought to the team this season, whereas for others, it may be about time to move on from them.
Here, we take a look at three pending free agents the team should bring back for the 2024 season and one pending free agent that they probably shouldn’t for the team’s long-term perspective.
3 players to re-sign this offseason
Since joining the Jays this past offseason, Kevin Kiermaier has practically gone from public enemy number one to unanimous fan favourite among the Jays’ faithful in less than a season’s worth of playing time. Brought in to help augment the Jays’ outfield defence, Kiermaier has done exactly what he was supposed to do and more. As expected, he has been among the team’s top two in defensive runs saved with 13 and has committed only three errors all season, all while making spectacular plays in the outfield at the same time.
More surprisingly has been his offensive output at the bottom part of the lineup. Known mainly for his defensive acumen, Kiermaier has actually given the Jays an added boost in terms of run production for the season. For the 2023 season, he has hit a solid .267 with a .739 OPS, along with 42 runs scored, 14 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 30 RBI and going 11-for-11 in stolen bases. If he hadn’t been out of the lineup for a few times during the course of the season due to minor injuries, he probably could have done even more.
Nevertheless, the obvious value that Kiermaier provides both from an offensive and defensive standpoint for the Jays is quite evident, so it should be of the team’s best interest to try and get him to re-sign with the ballclub as soon as possible at the conclusion of the current season. That way, in addition to being able to continue to witness his excellence on the field, we can see him keep doing his wonderful deeds off the field as well.