Ranking each of the players named in The Athletic's top 13 Blue Jays free agent fits

Which current players in the free agent market would be a good fit for the Toronto Blue Jays heading into the 2024 season?

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#10 OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Speaking of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., he happens to be among the free agent outfielders available this offseason as well. Gurriel put together an All-Star season in 2023 with the Arizona Diamondbacks by posting career highs in run scored (65), doubles (35), home runs (24) and walks (33). However, he was often a streaky player during his time previously with the Jays, along with being on full display once again last season in Arizona despite his stellar season. On the other hand, he has taken great strides in improving his defensive game with 14 DRS and no errors committed in 95 starts in left field last year.

The Jays’ players would certainly welcome back the comradery of Gurriel so that they can go to battle together in their championship aspirations once again. But bringing him back would imply that the Jays’ front office did wrong in trading him away the past offseason and wanting to correct their mistake. But if it was meant to be for the better of the team, they should still do it, as rekindling team chemistry can go a long way in terms of building team success.

#9 DH/OF Joc Pederson

Best known for his head-to-head battle with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby, Joc Pederson has dropped off quite a bit offensively in the past few seasons, outside of his All-Star season in 2022. However, he was instrumental in helping the Atlanta Braves capture the World Series championship in 2021 after coming over from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline. In 2023, Pederson posted a .235 average, along with a respectable .764 OPS, with 59 runs scored, 15 home runs and 51 RBI.

His defence left a lot to be desired as well, as in his past two seasons playing in the outfield, he has a combined -20 DRS with 5 errors in 151 games. As a result, to minimize his play in the field, his most suitable fit with the Jays would be in the DH spot in the lineup, but given his career numbers being a lot stronger against righties than lefties, the Jays may need to implement a platoon for the position for full effectiveness in the end.