If it feels like the same rumours keep cropping up again and again across Major League Baseball, that’s because they are. It’s a brand new year and we’ve officially reached phase two of MLB’s rumour mill, which in essence, is just a rehash of phase one.
Since there’s nothing else to talk about, let’s revisit a rumour from earlier this offseason which linked the Toronto Blue Jays with free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain. Jerry Crasnick initially reported about the Blue Jays checking in on Cain back in mid-November.
Not all that surprising as it sounds like the Blue Jays have checked in on virtually every free agent. But the latest report from Jon Heyman indicates the Jays may be a little further down the rabbit hole when it comes to making their pitch for Cain. This from Heyman’s latest Inside Baseball piece at FanRag Sports:
(Cain) would also fit with the Jays, though they have been more often tied to corner outfielder like Jay Bruce, Carlos Gonzalez and even J.D. Martinez), and he’s been linked to both teams.
It is believed the Jays might be willing to go to four years, though the belief is that Cain seeks at least five.
Back in November, I wondered myself whether the Blue Jays might be willing to offer a similar contract to Lorenzo Cain as they reportedly did to Dexter Fowler during the 2016 offseason. If the Jays were willing to go four years and $60 million for Fowler, why not make the same pitch to Cain, who is arguably the better of the two outfielders?
Heyman also mentions that he has an inkling the Cain camp is seeking a five-year deal, which seems like a non-starter for a team like the Blue Jays. If I’m Ross Atkins, I’d gladly get Cain on a three or four-year deal, but anything beyond that seems like a stretch.
Although Cain is still miraculously a free agent (as many marquee players still are), he’ll land somewhere and it wouldn’t shock me if he ends up being one of the most valuable signings of this particular free agent crop.
Given how there isn’t much in the way of impact middle infielders for the Blue Jays, they would be better off by pooling their resources into improving their outfield situation. Signing a plus bat/plus defender in Cain would go a long way to upgrading the Blue Jays’ outfield.
The Blue Jays have been linked to an unusually high number of free agents this winter (some reports more believable than others), but if they were to potentially sign anybody left on the board, nobody would make more of an impact than Cain.