Blue Jays 2023 fan favorite officially departs, signs deal with AL Central contender

Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

For those that were looking forward to seeing more reunions to happen for the Toronto Blue Jays for the upcoming season, you can now take another fan favourite from 2023 off the list now. Apparently, last season’s AL Central division winner Minnesota Twins have reported to have reached a deal with former Jays’ relief pitcher and fan favorite Jay Jackson. More importantly, the deal will be a well-earned major league contract for Jackson.

After enduring through a long and bumpy journey for almost a decade and a half for his baseball career, the 36-year-old journeyman finally got his chance to shine with the Jays last year when the ballclub began to encounter injury woes to their relief corps. As a result, whenever Jackson was summoned from the minors by the ballclub, he absolutely delivered his best almost every time out. Overall, he compiled a strong 3-1 record, while posting career bests with a 2.12 ERA, 202 ERA+, 0.91 WHIP, along with 27 strikeouts in 29.2 innings pitched. More impressively, he only yielded runs in 4 of his 25 overall appearances during the entire 2023 season. Many believed that his hard work and determination over many gruelling years of baseball has finally paid off as he had finally proven he could be a solid MLB-calibre pitcher.

However, despite the infallible performance by Jackson, he was surprisingly designated for assignment just prior to the end of last season. On top of that, when he was left off the postseason roster, it had left many of the Jays’ faithful confused and in true disbelief, as he could have been a potential difference maker for the club. Jackson subsequently entered free agency this offseason, but will never forget the massive love and  support he had in Toronto when he posted his graceful thank you note to the organization and the fans.

As Jackson now moves on to the next chapter of his hopeful baseball career, we truly wish him all the best not only in his continuing journey to be at his best in pitching, but also to his family as a whole. There is no doubt that they will always have a special place in the hearts of Jays’ nation.