Toronto Blue Jays: Three free agents to target this offseason

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 and Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays salute the crowd during the last game of the season, facing the Tampa Bay Rays during a break in the third inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 and Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays salute the crowd during the last game of the season, facing the Tampa Bay Rays during a break in the third inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Nicholas Castellanos

The Toronto Blue Jays have already been rumored to be interested in free agent Marcell Ozuna this offseason, but Nicholas Castellanos might be the better option for this squad.

For one, Ozuna is most likely going to receive a qualifying offer this season, which he would be foolish to not accept given his down year in the 2019 regular season. Secondly, with Ozuna most likely receiving a QO, which if he was to reject, would require the Blue Jays to give up draft picks in compensation for his services.

Or, the Blue Jays could go after another viable option in Castellanos.

Traded midway through the 2019 season, he cannot receive a qualifying offer from the Chicago Cubs, which already makes him more enticing than other potential free-agent outfielders.

Castellanos had a productive season, slashing .289/.337/.525 with 27 home runs, 73 RBIs while striking out 143 times. He was noticeably better after being traded to the Chicago Cubs, but this was a smaller sample size given he spent only 1/3 of the season in the windy city. That’s not to say he wasn’t productive in Detroit, as he still had a better slash line than current Blue Jays center fielder Teoscar Hernandez.

The one negative regarding Castellanos is his fielding ability, which is average/below average at best to along with his average speed. He has also never played a single inning of MLB baseball in center field, meaning he would need to learn the position over the offseason (would not recommend) or Randal Grichuk will be sliding over the center field with Castellanos moving into right.

If the Toronto Blue Jays can snag Nick Castellanos without having to pay an arm and a leg to acquire his services, then he will be a significant upgrade over Hernandez. He would be a risky signing, in that the Blue Jays front office will pray that he continues to play like he did in Chicago and this 1/3 of a season is not a one-off.

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Some other honorable mentions that the Blue Jays will most likely be rumored to look at or possibly acquire: Zack Wheeler, Tanner Roark, Avisail Garcia, and Brett Gardner.