When the Toronto Blue Jays lost out on Shohei Ohtani despite appearing to have all of the public momentum, it created a both a sense of urgency as well as a fair bit of heartbreak. While losing out on one of the most coveted free agents the league has ever seen had to hurt, Toronto simply has to pull themselves together and continue to push this offseason to make a splash if they have any designs on competiting in the AL East.
The Rays are probably going to be good again against all odds, the Orioles' youth wave is likely to carry them to being favorites to repeat as division champs, the Yankees just traded for Juan Soto and look like favorites to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and that the Red Sox sound like they are trying to be aggressive this offseason as well. With essentially the entire division going for it right now, there is no time to cry over spilled milk.
One name that has been continually linked to the Blue Jays is Cody Bellinger. Toronto could certainly use another outfield bat and Bellinger is the best one on the free agent market. However, his contract demands remain quite high and while signing Bellinger isn't out of the question yet, it does appear as though the Blue Jays are weighing other free agent bats including Rhys Hoskins and Justin Turner.
Blue Jays interested in Hoskins and Turner among others to beef up their lineup
With Bellinger reportedly asking for north of $200 million at the moment despite his inconsistency in recent years, it certainly behooves the Blue Jays to evaluate all of their options to see if making such a commitment to him is worth it. In addition to Hoskins and Turner, Toronto is also looking at Joey Votto, JD Martinez, and Joc Pederson to fill their open DH spot.
Having someone that can play the field a bit certainly couldn't hurt in this search, but Rhys Hoskins and Justin Turner are still very interesting bats. Hoskins looked like he was set for a big payday going into the 2023 season before he torn his ACL and missed the entire season, but he is still a guy that bring a lot of thump to the plate assuming he is good to go health-wise. Turner's best days are behind him, but he is well-known as a strong veteran presence in clubhouses and just posted an .800 OPS with Boston last year.
Given Bellinger's price tag, it is possible that the Blue Jays decide that they can get multiple bats for the amount it would take to sign Bellinger. Cody had a nice bounce back year in 2023, but it is hard to commit that kind of money to a guy who barely hit at all from 2020-2022 and whose exit velocities are trending in the wrong direction.
From the looks of things, the Blue Jays may agree that that possibility exists and, at the very least, are keeping their options open for now.