Reclamation projects: 5 free agent hitters and 4 pitchers the Blue Jays should pursue

Which previously struggling players should the Blue Jays take a chance on in free agency that could bring surprising value to the ballclub in 2024?

Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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The Toronto Blue Jays have had some luck in the past when it came to reclamation projects. Some of the more notable ones in recent memory include Robbie Ray, Steven Matz, Marcus Semien and Whit Merrifield. Of course, in the case for Ray, he went from struggling immensely with his control and command in his final few years with the Arizona Diamondbacks to eventual Cy Young winner in just a little over a season with the Jays, marking perhaps one of the greatest turnarounds in MLB history. 

The Matz project turned out quite well too after the Jays took a chance on him for the 2021 season. The former front-end starter was in a constant struggle to find his game ever since starting off strong in his first two seasons of his career. But after coming over to the Jays in an offseason trade, Matz went on to post a career-high 14 wins along with a solid 3.82 ERA, 144 strikeouts in 150.2 innings pitched, netting him a big contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in free agency during the 2021-22 offseason.

Semien and Merrifield both had shown glimpses of stardom prior to joining the Jays but each turned into All-Star caliber (and in Semien's case, MVP caliber) players.

As of this moment, the Jays are currently looking at potential free agents to fill some of the holes on their roster, which includes the outfield, third base, designated hitter, and starting pitching depth. In doing so, could they take a chance in free agency in pursuing a reclamation project or two to help meet their needs? Here, we will examine nine intriguing candidates that could provide the Jays with surprising value if given the opportunity to shine once again.