With around six weeks till pitchers and catcher report, the Blue Jays have achieved little when it comes to improving the team. With Kevin Kiermaier returning, the only new addition is Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who isn't exactly the most inspiring of signings.
Yes, it was always going to be difficult to consider this offseason a success, after missing out on Shohei Ohtani specifically, but also the likes of Juan Soto and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. However, this doesn't mean the Blue Jays can't still strengthen the team.
With this in mind there is a potential target apparently available in Minnesota, in Jorge Polanco. The Twins have confirmed they are looking to cut payroll in 2024, which has resulted in the 30-year-old being considered a viable trade target.
In this respect, Nick Deeds of MLB Trade Rumors has the Blue Jays tabbed as one of the best fits for Polanco, along with the Cubs and Mariners. This is not his first time he's been linked with the team, but the question is, does he represent the type of player they should be pursuing?
Versatility, versatility, versatility
Arguably the number one reason the Blue Jays should consider Polanco is that he offers versatility, something which we know general manager Ross Atkins values greatly. He has mostly played at shortstop and second base during his 10 years in the league, but has also seen some time at third base, including 15 appearances last season.
The native of the Dominican Republic's versatility also extends to his bat, with him being a switch-hitter and being utilized at times as a DH. This could prove to be an invaluable addition to the Blue Jays lineup.
While 2023 wasn't necessarily Polanco's best year offensively, he still produced a decent .255/.335/.454 slash line, .789 OPS and 115 OPS+. In the process he hit 14 home runs and 48 RBI, which alludes more to injuries limiting him to 80 games rather than a decline in effectiveness at the plate.
In terms of Polanco's lack of availability last season, this doesn't mean he is injury prone, with him being a regular since 2017. He was limited to 77 games in 2018, due to an 80-game suspension for PED use. (He also only played 55 games in 2020, but this was due to the impact of COVID-19, which affected everyone.)
Another factor to consider, is of course the financial implications of bringing in the 2019 All-Star. However, this shouldn't be an issue, especially when the pursuit of Ohtani confirms the Blue Jays have money available. (Although, as previously noted, we appreciated no one can provide as much of a return on investment as the two-time AL MVP.)
In this respect, the Twins exercised their club option for Polanco this year, which has a base salary of $10.5M. There would also be some element of control for the Blue Jays, with a club option also for next year, worth $12M.
It should be noted Atkins indicated he's happy with the team the Blue Jays currently have. To the point that he's only considering adding one more player, most likely in the outfield or at DH.
However, it's hard to believe the Blue Jays don't also need to add more to the infield, especially after the losses of Matt Chapman and Whit Merrifield. Aside from the fact Polanco is more than capable of playing DH, Atkins really does need to reconsider his current position and at least contact the Twins for a conversation.