Teoscar Hernández signs deal with NL juggernauts that the Blue Jays could've matched 

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

With the Toronto Blue Jays desperately seeking a power bat this offseason to augment their roster for 2024, another prime candidate has come off the board recently. Talking about the rich getting richer, after some big time signings and acquisitions over the past month, the Los Angeles Dodgers have struck again by inking former Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernández to a one-year, $23.5M deal

In 2023 with the Seattle Mariners, he put together a solid season by compiling a .258 batting average, .741 OPS, along with 70 runs scored, 29 doubles, 26 home runs and 93 RBI. The signing of Hernández would help the Dodgers somewhat offset the loss of six-time All-Star J.D. Martinez to free agency this offseason. Hernández now joins Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Tyler Glasnow in the Dodgers’ drastically improved and revamped roster for the 2024 season.

That all certainly sounds good for the Dodgers and their organization, but what does this mean for the Jays? With one of their main priorities this offseason in bringing in a potent bat after the departures of both Matt Chapman and Brandon Belt to free agency, did they miss out on a chance to have a reunion with Hernández? After all, costing just a little less than $24M, the Jays could have easily matched or possibly even give a little more than what the Dodgers offered to him. More importantly, he was willing to take on just a one-year deal, which would have been the ideal situation for Toronto. If Hernández produced as expected, then the deal amount would be worth every penny. If things didn’t happen to work out, the Jays could always turn him into a valuable trade chip to use at the trade deadline. As a result, he could have been a low-risk, high reward acquisition for the ballclub.

Looking back, Hernández’s career didn’t take off until his tenure under the Jays’ watch. Not only did he prosper in the comradery environment with his fellow teammates in Toronto, he evolved into an offensive juggernaut in the heart of the Jays’ order to help provide valuable run production behind both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. In 609 career games with the ballclub, Hernández hit a solid .263 with an .823 OPS, 122 OPS+, 337 runs scored, 129 home runs, 369 RBI, while averaging a WAR above 2, including a career-high 4.3 in 2021. More significantly, he usually came up clutch for the Jays with the big hit in key situations. Bringing him back home not only would re-ignite the chemistry in the clubhouse, it would also give Hernández the motivation to help complete some unfinished business with the ballclub in his second go-around.

The Jays will now have to continue their ongoing search this offseason to upgrade their offence, but so far, it has been all talk with not much progression. With the competition starting to tighten up that could lead to an eventual overpay for some of their potential power-hitting targets, it makes the failure to lure Hernández back to town on what could have been a value deal that much more disheartening.