The Toronto Blue Jays have found themselves in a state of inertia this offseason, seemingly stuck in neutral as the player movement carousel spins around them. With their only signing so far being utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the team has yet to make the significant moves that many had initially anticipated.
The lack of notable additions or impactful changes to the roster has left fans and analysts questioning the team's approach during this crucial offseason period. With several former Blue Jays finding new homes and other teams making bold moves, Toronto's relative inactivity raises concerns about their ability to keep pace with the evolving landscape of Major League Baseball. However, there are still several big name free agents available, such as Cody Bellinger and Jorge Soler, the offseason has not gone the way that many Jays fans anticipated yet. Though the Jays have yet to make a big splash, several former Blue Jays have found their new homes and could make impacts with their new clubs.
Teoscar Hernández, known for his powerful bat and outfield prowess, has joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, bringing his offensive firepower to an already formidable lineup. Hernández is in line to take over the LF duties for the Dodgers, and provides one of the more powerful bats in the entire league. What has held him back from league-wide recognition is his susceptibility to striking out, limiting his overall production. During his six-year tenure on the Blue Jays, Hernández batted .263, with 129 home runs and 369 RBI in 609 total games. He was a vital part of the team's success while he was here and should have plenty of opportunities to shine once again in Los Angeles.
The San Francisco Giants have acquired the services of left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray, who had an incredible season with the Blue Jays, earning him the AL Cy Young Award. The left-hander is coming off of season-ending Tommy John surgery last season, and will aim to regain his dominant form that he found while in Toronto. Ray's move to the Giants adds a potent arm to their pitching rotation, bolstering their chances in a highly competitive National League West division. He played just a single season in Toronto, though it was far and away his best as a Major Leaguer. He held a record of 13-7 and led the American league with his 2.84 ERA and 248 strikeouts across 193.1 innings pitched. The move comes with some risk as he is still recovering from the major surgery, though if he is able to stay healthy enough for the full season, his upside is undeniable.
In another notable transfer, Marcus Stroman will now don the pinstripes, signing with the New York Yankees. Stroman's return to his hometown brings a mix of excitement and expectations as he aims to contribute to the Yankees' pitching staff. With his repertoire of pitches and experience in high-stakes games, Stroman could play a pivotal role in the Yankees' quest for championship glory. This move in particular may have Jays fans upset as the former ace of the Jays staff will now be taking the mound for a bitter rival in the American League East. During his six-year stint with the Blue Jays, Stroman held a 47-45 record, with a 3.75 ERA across 789.2 total innings pitched. He was a fan favorite in Toronto and helped turn this team around after several tough seasons in the early 2010’s. You know what they say, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Another former Blue Jay on the move is Jordan Hicks, who has found a new home with the Giants. Known for his powerful arm and ability to consistently throw triple-digit fastballs, Hicks adds an extra layer of strength to the Giants' bullpen, or rotation. The acquisition of Hicks reflects the Giants' commitment to fortifying their pitching staff as they compete in the ultra competitive National League West. Hicks' arrival in San Francisco creates anticipation among fans and analysts alike, as they eagerly await the impact he could make in crucial late-game situations. Hicks was acquired by the Blue Jays at the trade deadline a season ago from the Cardinals, and provided great stability at the backend of the bullpen. He threw just 24 innings with the club and held a 2.63 ERA, while nailing down four saves. The Giants have said they intend to use him as a starter even though he’s made just eight Major League starts in his five-year career.
Lastly, former Blue Jays pitcher Anthony Kay has taken his talents overseas, joining the Yokohama Bay Stars in Japan, providing an international twist to the Blue Jays' diaspora. Kay only managed 70.2 innings pitched as a member of the Blue Jays, and found little success, as he held a 4-2 record and an ERA of 5.48. After his tenure in Toronto, he had brief stints with both the Mets and Cubs, though his stats were not any better. He will now attempt to rejuvenate his career in the Japanese league with the Yokohama Bay Stars where he will join another recently signed former Major Leaguer in Andre Jackson, along with Trevor Bauer.