3 players the Blue Jays wish they signed last offseason, 1 they are glad they didn't

Who did the Blue Jays miss out on signing this past offseason that could have really helped them this season, and who did they fortunately avoided signing that would have set them back even further?
New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies, Craig Kimbrel
New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies, Craig Kimbrel / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Craig Kimbrel, Philadelphia Phillies

Craig Kimbrel has been a bonafide, overpowering MLB reliever ever since his big league debut with the Atlanta Braves in 2010. His stuff was so electric and so impressive that he was quickly anointed the club’s closer in just his rookie year in 2011 with the Braves. In doing so, he captured NL Rookie of the Year honours, notching a rookie record 46 saves with 127 strikeouts in just 77 innings pitched.

His dominance persisted for close to a decade, before the commencement of his struggles appearing in 2019, when his ERA started hovering above 3.00 for most of the time in the years that followed. Despite the downward trend in his numbers, the Philadelphia Phillies took a chance this past offseason and signed Kimbrel to a one-year deal worth $10 million, easily a number that the Jays could afford as well.

It appeared to be a huge mistake near the start of the 2023 season, as Kimbrel struggled coming out of the gate. However, he has really turned his game around in recent weeks, in particular, during the Phillies’ recent hot stretch dating back to early June. Kimbrel has been on the money in locking down key games in the past few weeks, helping the Phillies back into playoff contention. For the season, he is 5-1 with a 3.41 ERA, 0.973, giving up 14 earned runs with 14 walks and 57 strikeouts in just 37 innings pitched. He certainly would have looked fabulous in the Jays’ back end of the bullpen, but we are left now with just wondering what could have been.