Brandon Belt had a horrendous start to the season as a new member of the Jays, in which he struck out at an astronomical rate, along with providing practically no run production for the first month of the season. That itself could have put him down with a failing grade, but fortunately, Belt drastically turned his season around and has become more what was expected of him when he first signed with the team. For the season, Belt is hitting .246, with an OPS of .785, 26 runs scored, 16 doubles, six home runs, and 20 RBI. In addition, he has endeared the trust of his manager and his teammates and has hit higher in the lineup in prime run producing spots as a result. His recent solid production has helped bring back up his grade a bit.
When Chad Green was signed by the Jays during the offseason, it was already known that he would be out for majority of the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and probably won’t make it back into the lineup until at least near the trade deadline. But given his past history of excellence and coming up big in key moments, the Jays went out and took a flyer on him, hoping that the dividends will eventually pay off in the near future and the year beyond by signing him to a two-year deal worth only $8.5 million.
Grade: N/A (since he has been on the IL all season)
Overall key offseason free agent signings grade: B+ - Despite some inconsistency in producing at times, in general, all of Atkins’ free agent signings have made an impact on the team’s successful run so far this year. They will be counted upon more heavily in the second half, with the return of Green being potentially a huge difference maker for the Jays’ bullpen down the stretch.