Blue Jays: 3 hitters for the Jays to bring aboard on minor league contracts

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Nearly all of the big name free agents in Major League Baseball have found new homes already and we haven't even hit the new year.

All of your Correas (maybe), Turners, Swansons, deGroms, Eovaldis, Nimmos, Bassitts and Sengas have signed.

Now, the remaining bunch of free agents in the class includes names like Michael Wacha, Robbie Grossman, Trey Mancini, Yuli Gurriel, Evan Longoria and Zack Greinke.

While the Toronto Blue Jays would benefit from bringing someone like Wacha or Mancini aboard, let's take a look at the second-tier of free agents and see who the club could bring aboard on a low-cost, minor league deal.

OF Raimel Tapia

Why don't we start with an old friend?

Tapia, 28, swings the bat from the left side and can play all three spots in the outfield competently. With the bat, he's nothing to write home about but he performed respectably last season with the Jays.

In 128 games last year, Tapia hit 20 doubles, seven home runs with 52 RBI and posted an OPS+ of 91. He was a serviceable fourth outfield option who was forced into the starting spotlight once injuries arose. Someone who is familiar with the organization is the best place to start and Tapia fits the mold perfectly.

1B/OF Dominic Smith

Next is Mr. Smith, who has fallen so far from grace that he is likely to only receive minor league offers this offseason.

Don't get me wrong though, there are still some things to like about the former New York Met prodigy for the Jays. For instance, he has light-tower power when he makes contact and has shown some glimpses of promise in the past, mainly in 2019 when he posted an OPS+ of 132 in 89 games and followed that up with a 168 mark in 2020.

Smith, 27, is a prototypical burly power hitter who can "play" left field but is likely best suited for first base or designated hitter. He has lit up the opposition every single time he's played in the minor leagues so maybe all he needs is a change of scenery to get him right and he could even be a contributor at the big league level in Toronto.

INF/OF Hanser Alberto

I don't know how to properly explain it, but I think Alberto is one of the more underappreciated players in the game today.

The 30-year-old infielder has bounced around the league a bit over the years, spending time with each of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals and Dodgers in the past five seasons. At each stop he has never shown much power (outside of a 12-home run showing in 2019 with Texas) but he is a consistent threat to hit at or around .300, he doesn't strike out much and he plays some really solid defense.

In Alberto's defensive repertoire, he has all four infield spots and has lined up in the outfield corners a bit over the years. Not to mention, he was also the Dodgers' unofficial mop-up reliever last year, making a whopping ten appearances for the club in which he posted a respectable 4.09 ERA.

While I don't think the pitching blurb makes him any more valuable to the Jays, I believe his bat, defense and veteran presence would be a welcome addition to the Triple-A ballclub and he can even fill in at the big league level here and there if needed in the upcoming campaign.

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