The Toronto Blue Jays have "remained in contact" with free agent outfielder Michael Saunders, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The other team pushing for Saunders are the Baltimore Orioles, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reported on December 5.
In the first half of the 2016 season, Saunders slashed .298/.372/.551 with 16 home runs and made the All-Star Game. After the break, he hit just .178/.282/.357 with eight homers. He finished the campaign with a .253 batting average, 24 home runs, and 57 runs batted in. The Blue Jays are looking for power, especially after losing first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, so picking up Saunders would be beneficial. On the other hand, the Orioles are also looking for a left-handed, power-hitting outfielder.
The 30-year-old has battled injuries and inconsistencies throughout his big league career. After being drafted in the 11th round of the 2004 MLB Draft, Saunders has dealt with left knee inflammation, which required surgery, and a torn meniscus in his left knee.
With Toronto losing Edwin Encarnacion and possibly Jose Bautista, the team will need help in the outfield and with power hitting. Saunders seems to be the right fit in The Queen City.
Saunders plans to play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic from March 6-22.