5 moves the Blue Jays must make immediately after missing out on Shohei Ohtani

How can the Blue Jays quickly make up for the lost opportunity in the once-in-a-lifetime signing of Ohtani that ultimately ran away?

Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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Sign Cody Bellinger

Now that the Jays missed out on the biggest fish of the offseason, a great consolation prize for the club is to go out to get the next best offensive free agent in outfielder Cody Bellinger. That way, it sends the right message to both the Jays’ players and fanbase that the organization is committed to winning and long-term success by focusing their efforts on top-of-the-crop free agents.

During this offseason, the Jays had lost one of their key signings from the last year in defensive stalwart Kevin Kiermaier to free agency. What better way to find his replacement than to bring a former Gold Glove and NL MVP winner to town. Despite putting up consecutive mediocre years in his previous three seasons, Bellinger has apparently regained his dominant form with a huge bounce-back season this year with the Chicago Cubs. For the 2023 season, Bellinger hit .307 with an .881 OPS, 95 runs scored, 29 doubles, 26 home runs, 97 RBI and 20 stolen bases.

His return to star-calibre level of production would ensure that the Jays will get plenty of offensive output from the young 28-year-old heading into his prime. For a team that often struggled with offence and producing in clutch situations this past season, Bellinger also provides the exact remedy with his strong .323 batting average, .898 OPS and 71 RBI hitting with runners in scoring position in 2023. In addition, he may not be at Kiermaier’s elite level in terms of defence, but he can still provide steady defence in the outfield at the same time, which should be more than sufficient with Daulton Varsho available to be his partner in crime. With the Jays previously strongly rumoured to be in on Bellinger, it is time to make it come to fruition.