Blue Jays: Risky Business
After turning down the Mets' qualifying offer following the 2021 season, Michael Conforto became a free agent. He went unsigned though and underwent shoulder surgery which ended his season.
Conforto will be entering his age-30 season and has had some years, his best coming in 2017 when he was named an All-Star and 2019 when he hit a career-high 33 homers. He has a career OBP of .356 and would slot in nicely somewhere in the middle of the Jays' lineup.
Conforto has played 146 games in centerfield, compared to nearly 600 in the corners and he’s the owner of a career dWAR of -2.6 so he wouldn’t be much of an upgrade defensively over Hernández and would only be an occasional option in centerfield.
There’s also the very real possibility that Conforto is unable to replicate his production from earlier in his career. Despite his lack of recent playing time, there are believed to be several suitors interested in the veteran’s services. If Toronto is interested, they’ll need to make a competitive offer, and be confident he can return to his previous form.
Before last season, Joey Gallo was known as a high-risk, high-reward type of hitter. A lot of strikeouts, but also a lot of home runs and walks, a three true outcomes kind of guy.
The strikeouts continued to pile up, but the power numbers weren’t enough to justify much playing time and the veteran was released by the Yankees before not getting much better results with the Dodgers to close out 2022.
All told, Gallo hit just .160 with 19 dingers and an OPS+ of 79. He’s a two-time Gold Glove-winning outfielder, although, like Conforto, he’s primarily a corner fielder. Gallo seems like a hitter who could benefit greatly from the anti-shift rules that come into place next season, and even if he could hit around .200 with power, he’d be a different look on the team and would add value with his above-average glove skills.