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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Gio Urshela

When it comes to the name Gio Urshela, Jays’ fans may often remember him as one of the ones that they gave up on too soon. That was because following his short, unspectacular stint with the Jays back in 2018 in which he hit only .233 in 19 games, he went on to star for their arch rivals New York Yankees for the next few seasons.

Since his breakout season with the Yankees in 2019, Urshela has averaged close to 20+ home runs and 70+ RBI while batting around .290 each year when projected over a 162-game schedule pace. That is considered solid run production and would come close to matching the numbers put up by Matt Chapman, but with a more palatable batting average. Obviously he won’t come close to Chapman’s defensive prowess, but he has displayed some respectable numbers with a career .967 fielding percentage at the hot corner, along with posting a positive DRS for the past two seasons.

In 2023, Urshela had somewhat of a power outage to start the season, as his home run and RBI totals decreased drastically compared to his previous seasons. Eventually, he suffered a season-ending injury in June when he fractured his left pelvis while running in an attempt to break up a double play. At just the age of 32 entering the 2024 MLB season, he should have a handful of productive years remaining ahead of him.