#12 DH/1B Joey Votto
After spending his entire professional baseball career making a name for himself with the Cincinnati Reds, wouldn’t it be great to have Joey Votto coming home to the Jays to finish off his career? It would be the Jays’ biggest Canadian free agent signing since Russell Martin back in 2014. However, gone are the days in which he would constantly put up a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 90 RBI on a yearly basis. In fact, Votto is coming off two consecutive, less-than-stellar seasons in which he hit close to the Mendoza line. Nevertheless, his 14 home runs and 38 RBI in just 65 games played last season (which projects out to 35 home runs and 95 RBI over a 162-game schedule) clearly showed that he could still get it done in terms of overall run production.
Bringing his wealth of experience and leadership to the clubhouse could potentially do wonders for a competitive and growing ballclub like the Jays. However, at the age of 40, the effectiveness of his play both at the plate and in the field could be seriously in doubt.
#11 OF Tommy Pham
Tommy Pham was one of the highly-coveted outfielders at the trade deadline this past season, as he ultimately landed in Arizona to aid in their run to the World Series. He has been a solid offensive contributor for much of his career, as he should be good for 15-20 home runs and 60-70 RBI per season despite turning 36 by Opening Day in 2024. The more intriguing statistic is the fact that he still has the wheels, as he stole 22 bases on 25 attempts in 2023, so he could provide that extra added element to the Jays’ game in addition to solid offence.
In terms of defence, Pham may not be winning a Gold Glove any time soon along with a somewhat limited range, but he has provided adequate defence overall in the outfield for his career. His main strength comes from the strong throwing arm that he possesses, as demonstrated by his 15 outfield assists in 2022 alone. However, from the above description, his defensive profile would resemble that of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. during his time when he was still with the Jays. As a result, it is hard to see the Jays pursuing a route that they have already ventured through in the past and may wish to experiment with something different instead.