6 former Blue Jays fan favourites still without a job heading toward spring training

Which popular former Jays have yet to secure a contract heading into the 2024 MLB season?

San Francisco Giants v Toronto Blue Jays
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Randal Grichuk

Randal Grichuk joined the Jays’ organization in 2018 when he was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for reliever Dominic Leone and pitching prospect Connor Greene. Equipped with a heartwarming smile and a relentless work ethic, Grichuk became a main cog in the Jays’ outfield for the following four seasons, spending the majority of his time in both center field and right field. Averaging close to 27 home runs and 79 RBI per season over a 162-game schedule pace, he provided decent yet steady run production for the ballclub. However, he was prone to the strikeout, which led to a low batting average of .243 and on-base percentage of .289 during his tenure with the Jays.

He did provide some solid defence in the field by committing just four errors across his four years with the ballclub. However, a net DRS of -6 along with just an average arm limited his overall effectiveness. With the outfield picture becoming crowded with George Springer, Teoscar Hernández and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. all in the mix, Grichuk was eventually deemed expendable and dealt to the Colorado Rockies during the 2021 offseason for Raimel Tapia and prospect Adrian Pinto.

Grichuk actually put together a strong hitting season last year when he posted a career-high .308 batting average with the Rockies in 64 games played. His impressive performance made him a hot commodity at the trade deadline. In the end, he caught the eye of the Los Angeles Angels, as they traded for the outfielder to bolster their roster for the postseason run. However, Grichuk would revert to his usual hitting habits of all ow batting average and high strikeout rate with the Angels as they eventually flamed out in the end to disappear from the playoff picture completely. Nevertheless, Grichuk still put together a solid season overall, hitting .267 with a .779 OPS, along with 65 runs scored, 31 doubles, 16 home runs and 44 RBI in just 118 games played. Surprisingly, at just the young age of 32, his market has been progressing at a slower pace than expected so far this offseason. Perhaps the Jays could take a flyer in bringing him back as an extra outfielder for depth if they don’t pursue any higher-end free agent outfielders for the rest of this offseason.