Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
After seeing the significant contributions that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made in helping the Arizona Diamondbacks reach the World Series, wouldn’t it be even better if the Jays manage to recruit him back for a second go-around? After all, Gurriel had a career year with the Diamondbacks while becoming a first-time All-Star in the process. For 2023, he hit .261 with a .772 OPS, 65 runs scored, a career-high 24 home runs and 82 RBI in 145 games played.
More importantly, Gurriel has made some significant progress in his defensive play this season, which was often his Achilles’ heel in the past. He actually led the Diamondbacks’ outfield with 14 DRS, along with 8 outfield assists and not a single error committed all season in 95 starts in left field. His growth both in his offensive and defensive game is exactly what the Jays need. With the Jays likely to be moving Daulton Varsho to center field for 2024, Gurriel would be the perfect solution to cover left field as he now is more competent there than back when he left town.
With a lack of a Qualifying Offer, it's already clear that Gurriel is not likely to return to Arizona next year. As a result, the Jays should consider bringing him back as he enjoyed his time during his first tenure and became a beloved figure by the fans. Now that he has also added some postseason experience under his belt, he could share that winning focus with the team as they work towards their playoff aspirations once again for 2024.