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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Noah Syndergaard

Wouldn’t it been great to come full circle with former Jays' pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard? He was part of big blockbuster trade between the Jays and the Mets that brought Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to town. Many believed at the time that the Jays had dealt their future ace away in exchange for a couple of championship runs with Dickey in 2015 and 2016. Dickey did end up providing some value to the ballclub, but more as a back-end of the rotation starter than the Cy Young-level performer they were expecting him to be.

On the other hand, Syndergaard went on to become the Mets’ ace up until the 2019 season. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020, he has yet to fully regain his prior dominant form. Although, he did have a solid 2022 season split between the Angels and Phillies in which he went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. More importantly, in his eight-year MLB career, he has amassed a solid 59-47 record with a 3.71 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, along with 928 strikeouts in 941.1 innings pitched over 162 career starts.

If Syndergaard can come anywhere close to what he produced during the 2022 season, he would be an ideal back-end of the rotation starter for the Jays for the 2024 season. Even though he may no longer be the strikeout king he used to be, he could provide quality innings for the ballclub to give them a fair opportunity to win ballgames in which he pitches in. At just the age of 31, he has a good chance of turning things around tremendously with a little tutelage from Jays’ pitching coach Pete Walker.