Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
With the 2024 regular season approaching, many free agents have already come off the board, but several key names remain on the open market, including Cody Bellinger, J.D. Martinez and Matt Chapman on the offensive side with Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery remaining as rotation upgrades.
The Toronto Blue Jays have been in the running for numerous big ticket stars, but their interest has stopped short of a big deal being made. Early departures in the postseason are sure to be a driving force in the club’s push to acquire talent, with three American League Wild Card Series exits since the 2020 season.
In an appearance on Blair & Barker, Blue Jays infielder Bo Bichette discussed the offseason and made a push for the team to sign some right-handed pop, noting the Los Angeles Dodgers free agent designated hitter:
“Justin Turner and J.D. Martinez are two guys the come to my mind, veteran bats that can help not just on the field, but off the field as well.”
The Blue Jays dealt with some serious issues in their lineup, mainly with consistency in the heart of their order.
Martinez would provide a hefty dose of power, as would former Boston Red Sox infielder Justin Turner, and the club has interest in signing them, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
The Blue Jays have sincere interest in free agents J.D. Martinez and Justin Turner, whom Bo Bichette mentioned in a recent @FAN590 interview.
Martinez (.880 OPS) and Turner (.766) both produced against RHP last year, which overrides the Jays’ slight preference to add LHH.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 29, 2024
Martinez was named to the 2023 National League All-Star team as their starting DH, after a terrific 2023 campaign in which he batted .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs, 103 RBI and a 134 OPS+.
The 36-year-old should have a solid number of teams vying for his services after his most productive offensive sear since 2019.
Assuming Martinez overperformed in a potent Dodgers’ lineup this past season, teams might be concerned with his health and ability to play significant time.
The Dodgers worked around his time on the injured list, and the Blue Jays might be on the fence about how much he’ll provide in bulk starts. But his bat is still one of the best in MLB.
At the very least, he’s a significant upgrade against left-handed pitching with the idea that driving in runs is a main piece to his game.
Blue Jays signing Justin Turner
On Tuesday, the Blue Jays reportedly signed Turner to a one-year contract, fulfilling a wish from Bichette.
After nine seasons with the Dodgers, Turner joined the Red Sox prior to the 2023 season. In 146 games, he batted .276/.345/.455 with 23 home runs, 96 RBI, 86 runs scored with a 114 OPS+.
It remains to be seen if the Blue Jays are interested in signing Martinez as well, but the pair would provide a strong upgrade to their lineup.
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