News and Notes: Kevin Kiermaier speaks for the first time as a Blue Jay, the Jays have interest in Johnny Cueto, and more!

It’s time for a News and Notes; this time, it’s more Blue Jays-centric!

We finally have the details of Kevin Kiermaier’s contract and some spicy sound bites. It also seems that the Jays aren’t finished signing starting pitchers either.
Let’s hop right into it!
Kevin Kiermaier:
It had nearly been a week since it was announced that the Jays were signing Kiermaier, but on Wednesday it was announced that Kiermaier signed a one-year, $9,000,000 contract.

Former #Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier’s deal with #BlueJays is for 1 year, $9M
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 14, 2022

For his career, Kiermaier has slashed .248/.308/.407 with 82 homers in 3351 plate appearances for a 97 wRC+. He struggled offensively in his 221 plate appearances but had a 101 wRC+ in 122 games in 2021.
While there’s a little bit to be desired with the bat, Kiermaier excels defensively. For his career, he has a 134 Defensive Runs Saved and a 64 Outs Above Average, with the latter being created a season after his fantastic 38 DRS season in 2015.
Kiermaier press conference:
Apparently, Kiermaier will be the Jays’ everyday centre fielder.

#BlueJays have told Kevin Kiermaier he’s the everyday CF in 2023, adding there’s been no talks of platooning.”It’s my job to lose.”Career OPS/wRC+ vs LHP and RHP: .662/84 and .735/102.
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) December 15, 2022

I’ve seen many, many people misconstrue this as “Kiermaier is Teoscar Hernández’s replacement”, which isn’t true in the slightest.
Kiermaier may very well push George Springer to right field, but that doesn’t mean that the Jays won’t be in the market to add another left-handed batting corner outfielder. It wouldn’t be surprising if they still want to use Springer as a designated hitter, meaning the signing of Joey Gallo, Michael Conforto, Michael Brantley, or Andrew Benintendi makes sense.
Not just that, but I’m sure that the Jays are aware of Kiermaier’s injury pa …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

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