Blue Jays: Checking in on Vladdy, free agent targets, MLB news and more

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One / G Fiume/GettyImages

Last week, it was reported that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was going to be suiting up for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican League.

However, it appears Vladdy has yet to make his debut down there for reasons currently unknown. I'm sure there's no real reasoning behind it, but he did not make his Winter League debut after all.

Guerrero has been an offensive machine for the Jays since debuting in 2019 for the club and has hit over 30 home runs and driven in over 90 in the past two seasons. He is still so young and still has a ton of untapped potential. Any Winter League action will be very beneficial to his continued development as he looks to stay sharp for next season.

Blue Jays news: More free agent targets coming off the board

Even more potential outfield fits for the Jays came off the board this past weekend including Joey Gallo, who signed with the Twins and Michael Brantley who re-signed with the Astros.

Sure, Gallo has issues with striking out too much and Brantley has at times struggled with the injury bug, but either of these players offer their own set of skills that Toronto could've used on the team.

This leaves a mixture of Jurickson Profar, Adam Duvall, Michael Conforto, A.J. Pollock and Wil Myers as the best available outfielders. Profar is especially interesting thanks to his versatility and his sharp performance last year with the Padres.

News around the league

Noah Syndergaard, another possible Blue Jays free agent target, is headed back West, this time signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year, $13M contract.

Dansby Swanson, the last of the "Big Four" shortstops, signed a seven-year, $177M contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The Oakland Athletics added a veteran reliever in Trevor May who gives the club a veteran presence that can be relied on throughout what will be a long season for the A's.

In a minor move, the Milwaukee Brewers signed old friend Thomas Pannone to a minor league contract. Pannone made 49 appearances for the Blue Jays split between 2018 and 2019.

Old friend Bradley Zimmer signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers over the weekend.

The Red Sox and Royals swapped pitchers with Wyatt Mills going to Boston and minor leaguer Jacob Wallace heading to KC. To make room for Mills on the 40-man, the Red Sox decided to designate Eric Hsomer for assignment, whose entire contract is being paid for by the Padres.

Andrew Benintendi is heading to the Chicago White Sox on a five-year, $75M contract.

J.D. Martinez is leaving the Boston Red Sox and signed a one-year, $10M contract with the Dodgers over the weekend (h/t to Robert Murray of FanSided for being the first one on it).

Swapping places with Martinez is Justin Turner, who is leaving the Dodgers after a nine-year run in favor of the Red Sox, who signed him to a two-year contract.

Defensive specialist Austin Hedges signed a one-year, $5M contract with the rebuilding Pirates. He will provide the young Pittsburgh pitchers with a much-needed veteran presence behind the plate.

Next. How can Kevin Kiermaier live up to his contract?. dark