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Blue Jays free agency tracker: Latest signings, news, rumours

November 15th, 2022

Ross Atkins and the rest of the Blue Jays front office have a busy winter ahead of them. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays returned to the playoffs in 2022 but were quickly brushed aside by the Seattle Mariners in two games in the American League Wild Card Series.

There were several positives to take from the season but the campaign was ultimately a disappointment given the expectations heaped upon the club in spring training.

Toronto’s roster already features plenty of talent but the team still has some work to do to become a legitimate World Series contender. It will be up to general manager Ross Atkins and the rest of the Blue Jays front office to make that happen by complementing the current core with the right pieces this winter.

We’ll keep you up to speed with all the latest news, rumours and analysis as the offseason unfolds.

November 15

Hernandez appears in unpopular rumour

MLB Network insider Jon Morosi floated a rumour on Twitter that didn’t go over too well with the Blue Jays’ fan base: Toronto sending outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to the Mariners for starting pitcher Chris Flexen. It’s unclear whether this was just speculation on Morosi’s part or if he has heard the two teams are in talks about these players, but trading a two-time Silver Slugger winner for a back-of-the-rotation starter seems like a light return. Perhaps a bigger deal could be in the works between these newfound rivals because a one-for-one swap of Hernandez and Flexen doesn’t seem like a balanced trade.

November 11

Jays circling back on Heaney

The Blue Jays were interested in left-hander Andrew Heaney last offseason before he eventually landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, Toronto is one of his suitors again this year after he posted a 3.10 ERA over 14 starts in 2022. Heaney struck out better than 35 percent of the hitters he faced last season and would be a fit for the middle of the Blue Jays’ rotation.

November 8

Suarez on Blue Jays’ radar

Update: Suarez re-signed with Padres on five-year, $46 million contract

One of the most intriguing names on the relief market is Robert Suarez, who opted out of his deal with the San Diego Padres. The hard-throwing right-hander is on Toronto’s radar, per Nicholson-Smith, and it’s easy to see the fit. The Blue Jays’ bullpen lacked late-inning swing-and-miss relievers behind closer Jordan Romano in 2022, and Suarez posted a 31.9 percent strikeout rate with a 2.27 ERA.

Reunion with Stripling in the works?

Ross Stripling enjoyed a phenomenal 2022 campaign and was instrumental in keeping the Blue Jays’ rotation afloat after Hyun Jin Ryu’s season-ending injury. This is likely the 32-year-old’s best chance to secure a longer-term contract, and it’s unclear if it makes sense for the Blue Jays to make that type of commitment. The two sides have at least been in touch as they explore their options, according to Nicholson-Smith, so this is still a situation to keep a close eye on.

Blue Jays looking to trade a catcher?

It’s no secret the Blue Jays have an embarrassment of riches behind the plate, with Alejandro Kirk, Danny Jansen and Gabriel Moreno all starting-calibre catchers at this point. Rival executives are expecting the Jays to use that depth to patch up other areas of the roster, according to Morosi.

Morosi also speculated that Toronto and the Detroit Tigers could line up as trade partners given the latter’s interest in star free agent backstop Willson Contreras. If the Tigers strike out on that signing perhaps they turn their attention north of the border and send a reliever to the Blue Jays in return.

Blue Jays in on Senga?

Speaking at the GM meetings, Atkins said the Blue Jays have a “strong relationship” with Japanese pitching star Kodai Senga’s agent. Atkins expects to be in touch with Senga’s camp once free agency opens and the right-hander would make sense for Toronto on paper. Senga dominated Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball in 2022, recording a 1.94 ERA over 144 innings.

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