A Crazy Idea for Blue Jays Outfield

 

The Blue Jays have to figure out their outfield situation and going crazy and adding Yasiel Puig could actually work

 


 

The Toronto Blue Jays won’t necessarily prioritize their outfield this winter, but they know they have work to do to improve in that area. There are a number of ways they could look to do this and adding free agent outfielder, Yasiel Puig, might be the craziest…but, it could work.

 

The purpose of this is not to pound the table for the addition of Puig. It is not to even suggest that this move is an overly realistic one. Instead, it is an ‘outside the box’ idea that, in theory, could work. In order to proceed, we have to acknowledge that the Blue Jays have put a premium on clubhouse presence. We know they have shipped out players who do not fit their idea of a teammate, etc.

 

If you’ve been paying attention, Puig doesn’t exactly come without a history of baggage in that area. He is said to have stopped talking to his former manager, Don Mattingly. He’s had issues with DUIs and is known for a ‘wild’ personality. All of this makes him an unlikely target of the Blue Jays front office if they continue to place a premium on a player’s character. That said, it is also worth acknowledging that Puig is a fun player to watch and is not afraid to stand up for his teammates. Fans will love him. Could Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro set aside any concerns over his ‘behind the scenes’ conduct to bring him aboard. Probably not, but what if…

 

Considering the Blue Jays outfield situation means they have to fill three positions with a list of questions marks, they should could at least consider this idea. If they’re going to take a step forward in this rebuild, can they feel all that confident with Billy McKinney, Derek Fisher or even Anthony Alford (as much as it pains to say that)? They can’t be.

 

Adding Puig would add a level of comfort. He’s a career .277/.348/.458 hitter who has put up 18 fWAR since he made his debut in 2013. In 149 games last season, he hit 24 home runs, drove in 84 and put up a wRC+ of 101. The argument can be made that, at 28 years old, a move from Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Cleveland to the AL East could yield an improvement in his offensive numbers. Oh, and he stole 19 bases last year, which is something Toronto needs more of.

 

That brings us to the reason he might be signable. All players would love to have as much money as possible spread over as many years as possible. But, for Puig, he is likely to need to take a deal that re-establishes his value. After playing for 3 different teams in 2019 and carrying with him the reputation, etc that he does, he very well could be had on a one year deal, or one with an option.

 

MLBTR predicts that he will get just that: a one year, $8M deal with…Detroit. All things being equal, you have to think that if Puig is faced with playing in Detroit, who had one of the worst teams in MLB history last year, or the Blue Jays, who look to be very exciting and provide an opportunity to play in hitter friendly confines, the choice would be rather easy.

 

Defensively speaking, Puig would slide into right field (Randal Grichuk and/or Teoscar Hernandez are assumed to be taking the bulk of the time in CF), where he has seen most of his MLB playing time. Over 7 seasons, he’s put up 40 DRS and a UZR/150 of 2.8. He’s not going to win a Gold Glove in right, but he will be solid. That, combined with his offensive production make him an interesting target for the Blue Jays.

 

Given that Yasiel Puig would be an instant upgrade for the Toronto Blue Jays, he should be on their radar. Considering just how little he may end up costing, he definitely should be on their radar. If he doesn’t want to stay in Toronto long term, that is more than OK. For a team in the Blue Jays’ position, a guy with talent looking to rebuild his own value might be a natural fit.

 

Sure, it is not likely to happen as the Toronto Blue Jays would probably shy away from the personality he is said to have. But, if they could look past that, or if it all has been embellished, they could find themselves a solution for their outfield in 2020…and a good one. It might not be so crazy after all.

 

 

 

 

 

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.