Free Agent Signings - OK, just IFA ones

Monday, January 15 2024 @ 04:19 PM EST

Contributed by: John Northey

Sorry, couldn't resist the misleading title.

International Free Agent Day has come and the Jays have made a few signings, but not the big one they planned due to 'reasons' (appears to be an eligibility issue of some kind which should be cleared up for 2025).

Via Baseball America... Available Cap: $5,152,200 The link here gives you summaries for each guy who was ranked.

Past Jays results....
I love how each site has its own specialty - The Baseball Cube is great for IFA, and Spring Training stats - no one else seems to have either in a practical way to look at.  I have a membership there which gives a lot of extra stats and the like.

The Jays first ever IFA was Paul Hodgson, from Quebec, back when Canadians counted as IFA. The #1 IFA though is probably the class of '79 with Tony Fernandez (plus Luis Leal who was damn good for a few years).  1988 had Carlos Delgado.  1992 Kelvim Escobar, 1998 had Gustavo Chacin, 2000 a guy worth a ton in trade in Robinzon Diaz (traded for Jose Bautista), 2011 had Roberto Osuna and 5 more who reached the majors, and good ol' 2015 with Vladimir Guerrero, Max Castillo, and Dany Jimenez.

Fun going through some history there looking for the best guys the Jays signed that way. Far fewer than I expected in the early days to be honest, but part of the value then was in trades and rule 5 picks (George Bell being a BIG one).  Seems every 10 years or so the Jays hit the jackpot with it - Fernandez, Delgado, and Vlad.  Let's all hope for more 'wow' from this years crop.

As to the majors - the Jays are rumored to be interested in pretty much everyone left it seems.  From big guns Cody Bellinger & Blake Snell (plus good ol' Matt Chapman), to the 1001 DH's Justin Turner, J.D. Martinez, Joey Votto, Joc Pederson, Jorge SolerRhys Hoskins, and probably any other guy who can slug homers.  Heck, Brandon Belt could even return still.  Guess we'll see what happens as free agents get more and more nervous about being left out when the dollars are spent.  I suspect the Jays are playing the waiting game on all of them right now.  Of course, if a pitcher is added (like Snell or Jordan Montgomery) then a trade will almost certainly happen as well to open a rotation slot and hopefully fill that hole at 3B (few seem to believe that Isiah Kiner-Falefa will be the opening day 3B, even he seems to doubt it as in an interview he said he was told he'd be a universal backup).