3 sneaky MLB free agents Toronto must target

The Toronto Blue Jays have recently been linked to former Los Angeles Dodgers’ star Cody Bellinger. People love to throw around superstar names as well including Aaron Judge and Jacob deGrom. But the Blue Jays already feature an impressive roster. If they can tie up some loose ends in free agency, Toronto may be able to make a deep postseason run in 2023.

The Blue Jays are known for their steady offensive prowess. Their pitching could use some work, but their 1-2 punch of Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman is among the best in baseball. With that being said, let’s take a look at 3 under the radar free agents who could help the Blue Jays reach the next level in 2023.

Can the Blue Jays land former Yankee Jameson Taillon?

Jameson Taillon’s free agent market is unclear. Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon, and Justin Verlander have stolen the majority of headlines for starting pitchers. But Taillon is a quality right-handed starter who should not be overlooked.

The 31-year old spent the past 2 seasons in New York with the Yankees. After struggling in 2021, he pitched to the tune of a respectable 3.91 ERA in 2022, per Baseball Reference. Although his 1.13 WHIP was a bit high, Taillon excelled at limiting damage and giving the Yankees a chance to win ball games. New York’s loaded lineup provided him with enough run support on a consistent basis, as Taillon finished with a 14-5 record.

Pitching in Toronto would lead to similar circumstances. The Blue Jays lineup features plenty of star power and Taillon would benefit as a result.

Jameson Taillon profiles as a strong middle of the rotation option for whichever team he ends up with.

Michael Conforto

Michael Conforto was once regarded as one of the best outfielders in baseball. But an injury and uncertain free agent market ultimately led to him sitting out the entire 2022 season. Conforto will likely be seeking a short-term deal in order to prove himself once again. If he can play well in 2023 on a 1-year contract, Conforto will earn a nice payday next offseason.

The Blue Jays have been listed as a destination for free agent outfielders this offseason. We previously mentioned Bellinger, but Brandon Nimmo is also an option.

Michael Conforto would come at a cheap price and could prove to be an absolute steal if he regains his form from 2020. He slashed .322/.412/.515 with a .927 OPS and 9 home runs in 54 games during the shortened 2020 campaign. Conforto probably would have been an All-Star that season as well, but there were no All-Stars due to the pandemic.

Nevertheless, he is still a 1-time All-Star who would profile well in Toronto’s outfield and serve as a quality replacement for Teoscar Hernandez.

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Andrew Chaffin

Andrew Chafin is a big left-hander who pitched well out of the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen in 2022. He ultimately posted a 2.83 ERA over the course of 64 games for Detroit. He surrendered only 5 home runs all season long and will draw interest in free agency.

The Blue Jays feature a number of impressive bullpen arms, but would unquestionably benefit from relief depth. Chafin, who is 32-years old, would likely prefer a 2-3 year deal. Toronto could offer him a deal of that length with a club option attached.

From a baseball strategy perspective, Chafin could be used as a left-handed specialist or even as a consistent late inning option for the Blue Jays.

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