MLB Rumors: Cubs big pivot, Red Sox target, Blue Jays getting hosed

  • Where do the Chicago Cubs pivot to after losing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto?
  • The Boston Red Sox are interested in a former AL East rival outfielder
  • The New York Yankees cost the Toronto Blue Jays once again

Nov 13, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Craig Counsell speaks as he is introduced as a new Chicago
Nov 13, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Craig Counsell speaks as he is introduced as a new Chicago / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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MLB Rumors: Blue Jays lose out on trade target thanks to Yankees

The Toronto Blue Jays were a team planning on making a big splash this winter. They were eliminated by the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series, giving their opponents their first postseason series win since 2002. The team eyed three big names this offseason -- Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Just before the end of the year, the Blue Jays ended up with neither of them. Ohtani and Yamamoto both ended up agreeing to terms with the Los Angeles Dodgers to build a super team. As for Soto, he is on the Blue Jays' hated rivals, the New York Yankees following their trade with the San Diego Padres. When it comes to the Yankees' acquisition of Soto, it was actually even more costly for the Blue Jays.

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal (subscription required), the Blue Jays spoke with the Padres about outfielder Jake Cronenworth prior to them sending both Soto and Trent Grisham. But now, a Cronenworth trade appears less likely, per Rosenthal, because the Padres "do not want to subtract a third left-handed hitter."

"Thanks, Yankees," Blue Jays fans must be muttering to themselves.

Soto is a left-handed hitter and perhaps one of the best in the league. But the Yankees were also able to get Grisham in the trade, where he is a bench option that can play center field, likely filling in for Aaron Judge late in games. So, moving on from another left-handed outfielder would be a bit much for the Padres. With that, the Blue Jays lose out on Cronenworth.

This past season for the Padres, Cronenworth recorded a .229 batting average, a .312 on-base percentage, a .378 slugging percentage, 10 home runs, 48 RBI, 54 runs, 105 hits, 97 strikeouts, and 46 walks in 458 at-bats.

Considering that, the Blue Jays do have some limited options in terms of outfielders. Cody Bellinger is still available but comes with a high asking price. In the tier below Bellinger are Jorge Soler, Teoscar Hernandez, and Adam Duvall.

With the top free agents now signing, the Hot Stove can finally heat up. But with the options not being that great, it will be interesting to see how the Blue Jays pivot this offseason.