Blue Jays: 2023 is an important year for Cavan Biggio and his future with the club

 Eric Treuden
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Cavan Biggio just wrapped up his fourth season in the big leagues, continuing to fall short of expectations that come with the last name Biggio.

So far throughout his tenure at the game's highest level, Cavan has not been able to find consistent success.

In 2019, the left-handed swinging second baseman broke into the league in a big way, hitting 16 home runs with 48 RBI in 100 games, posting a 16.5 percent walk rate and a 113 OPS+.

In the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, Biggio played in nearly every game, continuing to function as a slightly above-average big league player, even adding third base and some outfield to his defensive repertoire to get him into the lineup more frequently.

2021 was Biggio's first full season to have a shot at stardom in the bigs. After 100 games in 2019 and 59 in 2020, he seemed primed to get a full-time starting gig somewhere in the lineup and run with the opporunity.

Unfortunately, the then-26-year-old faltered a bit, hitting just seven home runs and seeing his batting average dip all the way down to .224. On the season, he was worth just 0.4 bWAR and managed a measly 84 OPS+.

Then 2022 rolls around and Biggio is once again expected to be an important part of this team's success. Just like the year before, he never seemed to figure things out. He experienced an ever-so-slight uptick in offensive production (OPS+ of 92) but saw his batting average fall dangerously close to the Mendoza Line (.202) and still could not hold down a spot.

I'm thinking at this point you see what I'm getting at. Understanding that Biggio may not be the answer last year, the Jays swung a trade for Whit Merrifield from the Royals in an effort to get some sort of production out of an oft-used utility-type player that Biggio was supposed to be.

So with Merrifield returning to the team in the upcoming season, where exactly does Mr. Biggio fit? Well, there's not an easy way to answer that.

FanGraphs' Roster Resource has him projected to be a bench player who sees time all over the infield and outfield as a super-utility type. Don't get me wrong, there's certainly value in being a player like that, but this is quite the fall from grace from someone who was widely expected to be a star for the Jays.

Thanks to the below-average OPS+ which tells quite a bit about Biggio's faltering value to the Jays, some even considered him (subscription required) to be a non-tender candidate before the deadline earlier this offseason

The one saving grace for Biggio next season? The new rules put into place that will ban the infield shift. He was shifted against a jaw-dropping 82.8% of the time in 2022 according to Baseball-Savant so there's a very high possibility that he will begin to see his offensive output gradually creep up in 2023 and beyond.

The Blue Jays very clearly like Biggio and I know the fans do as well. Here's to hoping that the new shift rules will allow him to capitalize on his new potential to find greatness.

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