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Top Free Agent
- LF Melky Cabrera (30 years old)
After hitting just .279/.322/.360 and posting a minus-0.3 WAR in the first year of a two-year, $16 million deal last year, Cabrera is back to performing at a high level offensively this season.
A PED suspension significantly cut into his free-agent value last time around, but he has proved himself this season and should be in line for a decent raise and perhaps an extra year or two from whoever signs him this time around.
Other Free Agents
- RP Casey Janssen, CF Colby Rasmus
Janssen was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2004, and his 375 games (sixth) and 84 saves (fourth) place him among the all-time leaders in franchise history.
He's been terrific since moving to the closer's role in 2012, converting 75 out of 83 save chances with a 2.71 ERA, and as long as he's not looking for an exorbitant amount of money, he should be back.
Rasmus has been one of the more frustrating players in the league since debuting as a highly touted 22-year-old with the Cardinals back in 2009. He was a 4.6 WAR player a year ago, but his numbers have dropped across the board, and he's at just 0.6 so far this season.
That being said, he's still just 28 years old, and someone will likely overpay for his tools in hopes that he'll put it all together.
Top Free Agency Priority
- Re-sign Melky Cabrera, find a stopgap for center field
With two-thirds of the starting outfield headed for free agency, re-signing Melky Cabrera looks like the first step of the Blue Jays' offseason plans. They were the team willing to take a chance on him two years ago, and he may be willing to give them a discount to return the favor.
As for center field, Rasmus will likely walk, but the team doesn't necessarily need to spend big on a long-term option at the position.
Dalton Pompey has been one of the breakout prospects of 2014, as the 21-year-old has hit .313/.393/.466 with 37 steals and reached Double-A this season. He's still at least a year out, so finding a stopgap option for next year looks like the best approach.