The Toronto Blue Jays gave their fans some holiday cheer on Tuesday afternoon when reports surfaced of free agent outfielder Kevin Kiermaier signing a one-year deal. The contract, which was first reported by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, will be for $10.5M with incentives.
It was the team’s first dip into the free agent pool and should start to clear up an outfield that requires depth. Bringing back Kiermaier, who is coming off a resurgent 2023 campaign with the Jays, means the primary trio will again be Kiermaier, Daulton Varsho and George Springer. This move is hardly the final piece of the puzzle, with several needs still on the roster.
The Blue Jays reportedly are interested in former Dodgers and Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger, and while bringing back KK doesn’t eliminate that possibility, it’s less of a natural fit. Still, his defensive versatility and lefty thump make him an attractive potential target.
With Matt Chapman on the open market, securing the third base position is another priority this winter. There is a possibility of bringing the four-time Gold Glove Award Winner back on a long-term deal. There remains a chance for the position earned as part of a competition among several internal candidates.
Filling out the roster with a power-hitting designated hitter is still needed. Four-fifths of the starting rotation is locked in heading into 2024. With Alek Manaoh’s tailspin last calendar year, no one knows what to expect of the 2022 All-Star, so acquiring the services of a veteran to compete for a spot would be fruitful, as would filling out the bullpen.