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?
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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#2 DH/OF J.D. Martinez

After suffering an unexpected power outage in 2022 in which he produced only 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 139 games played, J.D. Martinez returned to his usual consistent form for the 2023 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Impressively, he bounced back by almost doubling his totals with 33 home runs and 103 RBI in just 113 games played. His successful season helped the Dodgers capture their 11th NL West division title in the past 12 years.

Given his familiarity with the American League throughout his career in the past playing for the Astros, Tigers, and Red Sox, there should be no worries when it comes to his productivity and adaptability in moving back to the AL East to join the Jays. However, at this stage of his career, he should be mainly utilized as a designated hitter. In such case, he would represent a significant upgrade in terms of both contact hitting and power in comparison to the departed Belt.

#1 OF/1B Cody Bellinger

Perhaps one of the top free agents available this offseason aside from Ohtani and reliever Josh Hader, Cody Bellinger proved once again in 2023 that he could bring top-notch offensive production to any ballclub that ends up signing him. After all, he had a massive bounce back season with the Chicago Cubs that saw him smash 26 home runs, along with driving in 97 runs, while posting a career-best .307 batting average. His performance resembled his dominant form shown back in his early years with the Dodgers in which he captured both NL Rookie of the Year and NL MVP honours.

Bellinger would be a perfect fit for the Jays, both in the lineup and on the field. With the Jays struggling for much of the 2023 season hitting in the clutch with runners in scoring position, Bellinger excelled in that category, hitting a stellar .323 with an .898 OPS, six home runs and 71 RBI. In addition, he would fit in seamlessly into the center field position, replacing Kiermaier while keeping Daulton Varsho in left field. Or if the Jays really wanted to, they could move Varsho to center and have Bellinger in left field where he had seen action before earlier in his career. Either way, Bellinger can provide solid outfield defence as a former Gold Glove winner back in 2019. The main part now would be can the Jays entice him to join the team for 2024 and beyond.