The Toronto Blue Jays' lineup will look a lot different come Opening Day next season as Michael Saunders, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are all expected to move on via free agency. That would leave the Blue Jays with openings in left field, right field, and first base that must be filled this offseason by general manager Ross Atkins.
To this point, the Blue Jays have been tied to just about every outfielder on the market. The team has been linked to free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler while also reportedly being interested in New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce and Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton.
On Wednesday morning, another name came across the rumor mill for the Toronto Blue Jays via BP Toronto's Gideon Turk, as he reports that the Blue Jays have interest in Mets' outfielder Curtis Granderson.
The soon-to-be 36-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and will make $15 million in 2017. While that may be an expensive price to pay for a one-year rental, Granderson would give the Blue Jays a lead-off hitter with some pop who also produces a decent OBP.
In 2016, Granderson hit .237 with a .335 OBP while hitting 30 home runs and driving in 59 runs batted in as the Mets' lead-off hitter. One would have to expect both the batting average and on-base percentage to rise as Granderson would be going from one of the worst lineups in the big leagues to one of the best.
Only being tied to Granderson for one season is also enticing to the Blue Jays as the 2018 free agent outfielder class features names like Carlos Gonzalez, J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain. Toronto would be able to a competent lead-off hitter for the 2017 season with Granderson and then replace him with a high-profile player like one of the three mentioned.
It will interesting to see how Atkins ends up addressing his outfield needs. After reaching the ALCS in two straight seasons, these decisions could be the difference between reaching the 2017 World Series and not making the playoffs.null