Blue Jays seemingly start roster shakeup by placing struggling outfielder on waivers

The Blue Jays seem to have decided on their trade deadline direction, as struggling outfielder Kevin Kiermaier has been placed on waivers.
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

It has long seemed like an inevitability that the Toronto Blue Jays would be sellers at the 2024 trade deadline. The club is struggling mightily despite the fact that they continue to boast a roster that looks strong on paper.

During their contest against the Giants on Thursday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the club has placed struggling outfielder Kevin Kiermaier on waivers. This seems to be the first of many moves the team is set to make over the next few weeks.

Kiermaier's placement on waivers is a bit different than things like this usually go. It appears that the Jays are hoping for a team to claim him and take on his remaining salary, but otherwise he can either be released, traded ... or kept on the roster. Rather than being placed on outright waivers, Kiermaier can be kept on the team if no team makes a move for him over the next few days.

Blue Jays place Kevin Kiermaier on waivers

Prior to Thursday afternoon's game, Kiermaier had just 10 extra-base hits through 70 games this year, sporting a .183 batting average and 48 OPS+, which suggests he's been 52 percent below league-average at the dish. For what it's worth, he singled in his first at-bat of the day, but that won't do much to improve what has been a dreadful season for him.

Kiermaier, 34, was a member of the Blue Jays last year, too, and was a surprisingly strong offensive contributor. He had a .741 OPS and 103 OPS+ through 129 games, all the highest marks he'd been at in years.

This year, he's fallen off a cliff. Fortunately, he remains a top-shelf defensive center fielder, which is something a handful of playoff hopefuls could use on their rosters. A team like the Dodgers stands out as one that could use Kiermaier's defensive prowess, and everyone knows they could easily absorb his contract without feeling much of an impact.