News and Notes: Left, right, and centre, the Blue Jays option for outfielders are leaving the market, some Carlos Rodón news, and more!

The Jays’ options for signing a left-handed batting outfielder are dwindling.

Within minutes of each other, two of these options, Joey Gallo and Andrew Benintendi signed for the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox respectively. 
At the start of free agency, those two plus Michael Conforto and Michael Brantley were the four outfielders I saw as replacements for Teoscar Hernández on the free agent market.
Let’s look at the two outfielders that signed on Friday afternoon.
Joey Gallo:
I was most intrigued by Gallo, as he had a 122 wRC+ in 2021. Yes, he has a ton of swing and miss in his game (career 37.3 K%), but he also walks a ton (career 14.8 BB%) and mashes homers (177 home runs in 2811 plate appearances). 
Furthermore, between 2020 and 2021, he had a Defensive Runs Saved of 25 and an Outs Above Average of nine. Would I have wanted the Jays to commit a one-year deal worth $11,000,000 for Gallo? I’m not too sure about that.

Joey Gallo will get $11 million in his deal with the Twins, sources tell ESPN. He’s still just 29. With a solid season this year — remember, he put up 4.7 Wins Above Replacement in 2021 — he’s still primed to do well next year. But no doubt: This is a make-or-break season …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Bryan Reynolds, a potential fit for the Blue Jays’ outfield, has requested a trade from the Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds has requested a trade, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

There isn’t any indication as to why Reynolds has requested a trade at this time. Back in August, Reynolds joked that he told the Pirates not to move him ahead of Major League Baseball’s trade deadline…
“I want to stay here,” Reynolds said. “I haven’t hidden it, so hopefully that’s the plan.”
Anyway, things change, and here we are now.
Reynolds, a switch-hitting outfielder, fits the profile of the type of player the Blue Jays would like to add to diversify their lineup this off-season. Following the trade of Teoscar Hernandez back in November, the Blue Jays have a hole in their outfield and in the middle of their lineup and the assumption has always been that they’d add a lefty or switch hitter to fill it.
Originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Reynolds was the main prospect that came back to Pittsburgh when the Pirates traded star outfielder Andrew McCutchen out west back in 2018.
Reynolds broke into the big leagues in 2019 with an impressive rookie season in which he slashed a .314/.377/.503 line over 546 plate appearances. His production took a step back in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season but Reynolds has since rebounded to All-Star-calibre production, as he slashed a .283/.368/.492 line over 1260 plate appearances between 2021 and 2022.

Bryan Reynolds with his third homer of the game!!!
— MLB (@MLB) June 29, 2022

Now heading into the second season of a two-year contract worth $6.75 million per year that was signed back in April, Reynolds has …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Nationals are seeking a massive haul for Juan Soto. What could the Blue Jays offer? And should they pull the trigger?

Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto is making headlines. He won the 2022 Home Run Derby, and he also might not be National much longer.

With news dropping just before the All-Star break that there was an impasse in contract extension negotiations with the Nationals, who were now willing to discuss possible trade scenarios for Soto. This comes only weeks after their General Manager Mike Rizzo said he would not consider trading the Nationals’ star outfielder. In light of all of this, what could the Juan Soto trade sweepstakes represent for the Toronto Blue Jays?
We can start with a fairly simple, but quite important question, what does Juan Soto represent? Well, since breaking into the major leagues in 2018 at the age of 19 he has experienced the highs of winning a world series in 2019 and the lows of the Nationals’ residence in the basement of the National League East in each season since. Throughout all of this, he has been one the better hitters in all of major league baseball and inspired comparisons to Red Sox great Ted Williams due to his elite on-base skills.
Now those comparisons to Ted Williams may be a bit much. He certainly had a Williams-esque season during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, slashing (BA/OBP/SLG) .351/.490/.695 all of which led the league, as did his 217 OPS+ (which takes on-base and slugging percentage and adjusts them for league conditions, with a score of 100 representing league average). This compa …

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Author: Noah Vande / Blue Jays Nation