Reporter Lee Sang-cheol = The Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB) have completed the 2023 starting lineup plan with the recruitment of pitcher Chris Bassett. Now we are going to strengthen the batting line. First of all, Toronto, which has added right-handed and left-handed outfielder Kevin Kiermeier, who won three Gold Gloves, plans to reinforce left-handed outfielders.
Canadian media Sportsnet said on the 20th (Korean time), “Toronto, which recruited Bassett, is moving to reinforce the beast in the future.”
Toronto has solved the biggest task of recruiting a competitive starting pitcher in this Stove League. A three-year, $63 million contract with Bassett, who won 15 wins in the 2022 season, strengthened the starting lineup. As a result, Toronto has built a 1st to 4th starter that is not envied by other clubs, with Alec Manoa, Kevin Gaussman, Bassett, and Jose Berrios.
The next power reinforcement position is the outfielder. Toronto sold outfielder Teosca Hernandez through a trade with the Seattle Mariners last month. Hernandez is a fielder with a batting average of 0.262, 133 home runs, and 380 RBIs in 651 major league games, and the gap is not small.
Sportsnet said, “Toronto ranked first in the American League in the 2022 season with a batting average of 0.264, an on-base percentage of 0.329, and a slugging percentage of 0.431. However, Hernandez, one of the best scorers, has left.”
He added, “The most ideal scenario that Toronto general manager Ross Atkins wants is an additional left-handed outfielder.”
Previously, Toronto showed interest in left-handed outfielders such as Brandon Nemo (New York Mets) and Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs) in the free agent (FA) market, but failed to recruit them all.스포츠토토
In the end, Kiermeyer, who played 10 seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays and won three Gold Gloves, was recruited for one year and $9 million. However, compared to Kiermeier’s excellent defense, his offensive power is not outstanding, with a batting average of 0.248, 82 homers, and 316 RBIs in 914 games in his career.
But if Toronto wants to win the World Series, it needs an outfielder with more batting talent than Kiermeyer.
Toronto is leaving open the possibility of bringing in a left-handed outfielder through signing a free agent (FA) player or trading with another club. If it is not feasible to recruit an free agent outfielder, considering that there are not many catcher resources in the free agent market, the plan is to use Danny Janson, Alejandro Kirk, and Gabriel Moreno to promote outfield reinforcement through trade with other clubs.
Toronto is in a situation where it can pay a competitive balance tax for the first time since its foundation, and Director Atkins expressed the opinion that he can spend more boldly without being conscious of it.
General manager Atkins said, “We are a team that can win more than 90 games. There is room for further improvement and we have to work harder to realize it. We shouldn’t limit ourselves (to reinforce our strength) for financial reasons.”