With the Toronto Blue Jays having their eyes firmly set on free agency to fill some blanks on next year's roster, wouldn’t this be the perfect time for potential reunions with some former players? Just think back to the late Tony Fernández in 1993 if you need proof that reunions can work. His second go-around with the ballclub helped stabilized their infield defence and led the Blue Jays to their second consecutive World Series title in the process.
With a plethora of former Blue Jays currently available in the free agent market, which ones would we love to see return to help the team get back to their winning ways? Here, we take a look at five candidates that could be difference makers in their second stints with the club.
With Hyun Jin Ryu entering free agency and the uncertainty surrounding Alek Manoah heading into the 2024 season, there will be a gaping hole to fill in the starting rotation. Strong starting pitching candidates in free agency include the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Blake Snell, Aaron Nola and others for the Jays to choose from. But with those pitchers most likely entering a bidding war amongst teams, how about bringing back from the past the proven difference maker for the ballclub in Marcus Stroman? He has recently opted out of his deal with the Chicago Cubs to officially enter the free agent market.
Stroman has pitched in many crucial games for the Jays in the past, whether during the regular season or in the postseason. As a proven big-game pitcher, he would be the ideal candidate to help fill the void in the starting rotation for 2024, while bringing back his breadth of veteran experience to the ballclub. For his career, Stroman has compiled a 77-76 lifetime winning record with a 3.65 ERA, 116 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP, 1091 strikeouts in 1303.2 innings pitched in 231 games played.
With many of the Jays’ faithful feeling that the Jays’ team in 2023 often lacked some character, heart, and determination at times, the injection of the outspoken Stroman back into the Jays’ clubhouse could potentially provide that much-needed spark for the ballclub to get back into that winning mentality.