The Toronto Blue Jays have been seeking an outfielder, preferable a left-handed hitting outfielder capable of playing center, all offseason. And they’ve reportedly landed one in free agency.
Blue Jays fans were probably hoping for Brandon Nimmo, the top available free agent center fielder (also a lefty), but the Mets went all-out to get him. And with Cody Bellinger off the board, as well, they finally pulled the trigger on Kevin Kiermaier.
Kiermaier, as you’ll recall, was a one-time Cubs target, but that was over the minute they signed Bellinger (a superior, albeit more expensive target, in my opinion). We haven’t seen terms for Kiermaier yet, but I’ll drop them here when details come out.
In terms of other market impact, I don’t think there’s much. The Blue Jays are still likely to trade one of their three catchers, and maybe this deal tweaks what they’re seeking in return, but not by a lot. I guess I don’t need to talk around it so much, either: The Cubs need a catcher and have been connected to the Blue Jays’ trio in the past. And the Blue Jays were interested in Ian Happ at the deadline (a left-handed hitting outfielder capable of playing center). But I don’t really know if we expected that particular framework to be revisited this offseason anyway.
Indeed, early in the offseason, the Cubs seemed to indicate a desire to extend Happ (and Nico Hoerner), but there hasn’t been any progress on that part yet — at least, publicly.