Kiermaier's glove is still golden
From his spectacular Rogers Centre highlight-reel debut to his ability to make challenging plays look mundane, the fleet-of-foot Kiermaier has proven he still has elite defensive chops, and it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon. Although, Father Time comes for us all eventually.
The three-time Gold Glove winner has been integral to the Blue Jays' identity as a defensively sound ball club, leading the way with 118 center-field appearances. His 16 Defensive Runs Saved above average (DRS) tops all qualified center fielders.
He's also among the outfield leaders with a 98th-percentile 12 Outs Above Average (OAA) and 11 Runs Above Average (RAA), keeping pace with youngsters Brenton Doyle, Luis Robert Jr. and Julio Rodríguez.
Luis Robert Jr.
Toronto's outfield isn't just defensively sound; it's the cream of the crop and arguably the best in the majors. The combination of Kiermaier, Springer and Varsho has combined for a league-leading 41 DRS. For comparison, the Padres sit second with 20, while the Yankees are last at -25.
Can the Blue Jays afford to lose such a big piece of the defensive puzzle? Especially now that the front office seems hellbent on weaving the team's identity out of pitching and defense?
It seems like the answer should be a resounding "no." Simple, clean, done. Keep Kiermaier here for as long as possible, or at least as long as he can keep pace with the league.
There is a scenario, however, in which the response is "yes," and it's an easier answer to come to than you may think.