Ex-Blue Jays fan favorite says team pursued him over the offseason; couldn't meet his small demand

Guess the Blue Jays could really use someone like him just about now
Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals
Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

When the Toronto Blue Jays were looking to bolster their offense this past offseason by exploring the free agent market, one of their potential targets that was worth considering was former Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernández. After all, Hernández was an integral part of the Jays’ core that helped lead the team to the playoffs twice between the years 2020-2022. During his six-year tenure with the team, he hit 129 home runs and drove in 369 runs while posting a solid .263 average and .823 OPS over 605 games, showing that he was one of the main driving force behind the Jays’ offense in those years.

However, when Hernández was recently interviewed by Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, he revealed more details with regards to how far talks had actually gone between himself and the Blue Jays and whether there was ever any chance he was going to back in a Jays’ uniform.

“At the beginning, they said to not forget about them. Obviously when we exchanged numbers and years and all that stuff, they said they could not go that far. That was about it,” Hernández stated.

So the Jays did reach out to him, but things sure didn’t go as far as most would have expected, given what he had done for the club in the past. Eventually, with his demands swiftly rejected, Hernández would pivot and end up signing with the perennial NL West division winners Los Angeles Dodgers to a one-year, $23.5 M deal, officially dismissing any possibility of a reunion with his former club.

This begs the question of how in the world the Blue Jays weren't willing to sign him to a ... one-year contract.

This season with the Dodgers, Hernández has gotten off to a solid start, posting a .266 average with an .810 OPS, along with 18 runs scored, 6 home runs, 20 RBI and 3 stolen bases in 29 games played. To put things into better perspective, his batting average and OPS would rank him third on the Jays with a minimum of 20 games played, while his run, home run and RBI totals would actually lead the team in those categories. As a result, his valuable offensive output would sure have been a warm welcome for the struggling team that has averaged only 3.57 runs per game to date in 2024. Considering also the fact that the Jays were forced to promote prospect Addison Barger to help fill the void in the outfield when Kevin Kiermaier went down to an injury, Hernández would have also provided that much-needed outfield depth to help cover for such situations despite some defensive warts in his game.

On the other hand, it appears as though he is flourishing in his newly found role as a flex starting corner outfielder with the Dodgers while hitting in the middle part of the order in their loaded lineup. Unlike some other teams, the Dodgers appear to have a defined game plan that is built around maximizing the success of their players, at least according to Hernández.

“The way they prepare their games and all the plans and all that stuff, it's a little different than the ones that I've been with,” Hernandez explained. “That makes a difference when you’re going to play games.”

Nevertheless, despite his success with his new club, Hernández still gave high praise and encouragement to his former team.

“They're going to figure it out because they're great players,” Hernandez mentioned with regards to his former teammates. “They showed it in the past and I think they’ll find it.”

As the former All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger continues to make significant contributions to help his new club to success, the Blue Jays are only left with what could have been, as they regrettably received the up close and personal overpowering experience by Hernández and the Dodgers this very weekend.