12:49 AM UTC
TORONTO– Kevin Kiermaier and heaven Jays have actually accepted a 1 year offer worth $10.5 million, the club revealed on Thursday.
A year earlier, heaven Jays got the very best of Kiermaier on a comparable offer after seeing him control defensively for the competing Rays for almost a years. Kiermaier struck.265 with 8 crowning achievement after joking all Spring Training that he wanted to strike no while being the video game’s finest No. 9 player. He held up that end of the deal, at least, with a. 741 OPS, which was conveniently above his profession average, while making his 4th profession Gold Glove Award in.
This is the Blue Jays’ very first huge relocation of the offseason, and while absolutely nothing can compare to their pursuit of Shohei Ohtani previously in December, they needed to begin someplace. Kiermaier was a main piece of the Blue Jays’ more comprehensive rebrand a year earlier, when they rotated towards pitching and defense, and the company appears all set to run it back with an outfield of Kiermaier in center, Daulton Varsho in left and George Springer in.
Heaven Jays are still attempting to pivot back towards the middle offensively, recovering a few of the firepower that they lost, however that now appears likelier to come at 3rd base or DH, the 2 areas left by Matt Chapman and Brandon Belt. Provided the term and dollars included here, the Kiermaier offer appears like great worth for heaven Jays in a vacuum, however there is still substantial ground to cover if this club intends to surpass the Wild Card Round for the very first time considering that 2016.
As a protector, Kiermaier discusses fielding with the very same enthusiasm with which fantastic players discuss their swing. He led all AL center fielders in outs above average this previous season with 13, and routed just National League Gold Glove Award winner Brenton Doyle (15) of the Rockies in MLB this previous season.
What makes Kiermaier genuinely unique is his preliminary dive. An outfielder’s “dive” is specified as the very first 3 seconds after the batter makes contact, and because three-second period, Kiermaier covers 3.3 feet more than the typical fielder. That’s the very best in baseball, and has actually catapulted Kiermaier into the discussion of the very best protectors of this generation.
Heaven Jays require to discover a much better offense– and a timelier one– in the coming months, however there’s time for that, especially if this club is aggressive on the trade market.
The most intriguing wrinkle of this reunion might be the influence on Varsho, who is an elite protector in his own right however invested the majority of 2023 in left field. Varsho came by in a vacation offer of his own one year ago when heaven Jays traded Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno to the D-backs, a high rate that included expectations he would be the center-fielder long term.