3 more sluggers Blue Jays must add after Justin Turner signing

The Toronto Blue Jays finally added some pop to their lineup with Justin Turner. Why stop there?

Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs / Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next

The Toronto Blue Jays' offseason has been predicated on adding more oomph to the middle of their lineup. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s contact and power numbers have been on the decline since that magical 2021 season. Bo Bichette, George Springer, and Daulton Varsho all knocked 20-plus homers last season, but Toronto lacks a true offensive star to elevate the Guerrero-Bichette core. More specifically, the Jays would love to add left-handed power.

Toronto made a strong compromise earlier in the week, signing former Boston Red Sox infielder Justin Turner to a one-year contract. Turner is expected to operate primarily as the Jays' DH. He's a right-handed hitter, but he slashed .273/.335/.430 against right-handed pitchers last season (compared to .285/.372/.528 against lefties). Not quite the equivalent of a lefty or a switch hitter, but enough to cement Turner in the cleanup spot in most matchups.

Before Turner, the Blue Jays were connected to both of the offseason's best sluggers — Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto. Both fell through, but it's clear the Blue Jays have the financial firepower to compete with any market. There are several quality power-hitters left in free agency. With less than three weeks until spring training, there's still time for Toronto to add another impact bat to the lineup.

Here are the best options available.

3. Blue Jays can swing big for Jorge Soler

If the Blue Jays truly crave pure, undistilled power, the man of the hour is Jorge Soler. The 31-year-old DH put together a strong campaign for the Miami Marlins, slashing .250/.341/.512 with 36 home runs and 75 RBI in 504 AB. He doesn't offer the most well-rounded skill set, and most notably, he's not left-handed. But, when talking power-hitters left in free agency, Soler is at the top of the list.

Soler offers very little as a defender and base runner. He has experience in right field, but he's best utilized as a DH. That leads to uncomfortable overlap with the aforementioned Turner, who can still hang at third or first base, but whose best position is designated hitter. Turner is 39 years old. He simply doesn't have the same mobility and flexibility he once did defending the corner infield.

Still, there is no denying the value Soler provides at the plate. He's one of the best pure power sources in the MLB, with a hard-hit rate (47.8 percent) in the 83rd percentile. Soler also draws a ton of walks; at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, he packs quite the intimidation factor. Toronto's offense would take a step forward with Soler in the mix. Last season marked Soler's first All-Star nod, and he played a key role in Miami's triumphant return to the postseason. Sometimes in baseball, talent at the plate wins out. Soler brings plenty of it.

The positional fit is a real concern here, but Soler has been on the market far longer than expected. He's the perfect mid-tier investment if the Blue Jays don't want to splurge on a more well-rounded weapon. That said, if Toronto does splurge, there's one in-house option still waiting for his next deal...