Blue Jays fans have already gotten used to get their hearts broken this offseason, after missing out on Shohei Ohtani. Now, fans have another reason to feel disappointed, albeit not quite as much.
As per Manny Randhawa of MLB.com, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is returning to the Diamondbacks. The deal is reportedly for three years and $42M, including a $14M club option for 2027 and an opt-out after 2025.
While there was no significant speculation the Blue Jays were looking to bring Gurriel back, it certainly would have filled a hole in left field. As things stand right now, they have Nathan Lukes filling the position on the depth chart, which simply isn't good enough for a team aiming to contend in 2024.
Gurriel was a fan favourite in Toronto, prior to being traded to the Diamondbacks last offseason along with Gabriel Moreno, in exchange for Daulton Varsho. The trade was heavily questioned when it happened, and - depending on who you ask - has only looked increasingly worse over time.
Gurriel went on to have arguably his best season yet in the Majors, as he helped the Diamondbacks advance to the World Series. Offensively he had a single-season best 24 home runs, to go along with 82 RBI.
The 30-year-old was also excellent defensively, as he had 14 Defensive Runs Saved. He also earned a well-deserved first selection to the All-Star Game.
With Gurriel no longer on the board, it only increases the pressure for the Blue Jays to find a quality option to man left field. Juan Soto clearly would have been the best choice, but the Yankees traded for him while the Blue Jays and others were focusing on Ohtani.
One possibility is Joc Pederson, who the Blue Jays have been linked to previously as well as once again this offseason. However, you have to wonder if it would represent a good move, with him playing the majority of his games this past season as DH.
While not a left fielder, the Blue Jays have also been connected with Cody Bellinger, who plays all over the outfield and first base. However, his addition could then see Varsho - who is currently projected to be the Blue Jays' everyday center fielder - shift back over to left field, where he spent most time in 2023 and excelled.