There is little doubt that the 2024 season is going to be a crucial one for the Toronto Blue Jays. On paper, the club has consistently been one of the better teams in the league, but the execution on that potential has yet to truly come together.
Just this past season, the Jays were able to sneak into the playoffs in the form of a Wild Card seed, but a two-game sweep at the hands of the Twins ended the dream in heartbreaking fashion.
With ESPN's Jeff Passan reporting (subscription required) that the Blue Jays "want to do something big" this offseason, there are quite a few free agent signings and trades to be made that would more than qualify as "something big". Passan specifically mentions the free agency of both Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. creeping closer as a reason why the club feels a sense of urgency this winter.
As of right now, Aaron Nola is the only major free agent to sign, as he returned to the Phillies on a seven-year deal. The rest of the class isn't exactly full of star power, but there are some solid options out there for the Blue Jays to bring aboard that could shore up their offense in a big way.
Here's the dream 2024 Blue Jays lineup
The rules in putting together a 'dream lineup' for the Blue Jays are simple; we can only use current players on the roster or realistic free agent signings/trade acquisitions. This means that we're not quite crazy enough to predict the Jays sign Ohtani, Bellinger, Soler and Chapman while trading for Juan Soto. Let's aim to put together the best possible starting lineup of some legitimate possibilities.
Batting first, Ha-Seong Kim, 3B
Starting things off with a trade acquisition! Kim, 28, is an above-average hitter and an excellent defender. He represents one of the best possible replacements for Matt Chapman, who frankly is not worth the boatloads of money he's going to request in free agency. With the Padres eager to cut payroll, it will not be a surprise to see them begin dangling someone like Kim in trade talks.
Kim is the face of durability and rarely misses games (150 or more in two of his three big league seasons) and is coming off of a season in which he won a Gold Glove and finished 14th in the NL MVP voting. He can bounce around the infield and was in the 96th percentile in OAA in 2023.
At the plate, he doesn't hit the ball all that hard, but he does an efficient job at getting on base, which is all you can really ask for out of your leadoff hitter. This past season, Kim hit 17 home runs with 60 RBI, posting a .749 OPS and 110 OPS+ along the way. He also stole 38 bases in 47 attempts and performed very well in 73 games as the Padres' leadoff hitter (42 walks, 11 home runs, .783 OPS, 25 steals).