Blue Jays reportedly have interest in outfielder Jung Hoo Lee and Michael A. Taylor
2 months ago
Could the Jays be looking to add a corner outfielder in free agency?
As you may know, one of the few holes for the Blue Jays is in left field, as Daulton Varsho will replace the departed Kevin Kiermaier in centre field. Ideally, the Blue Jays will add a power bat to man left field, but let’s look at some options that have been linked to the Jays.
Jung Hoo Lee:
It was reported by Jason Lee that the Blue Jays have at least checked in on Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee.
The 25-year-old has spent his entire career in the Korean Baseball Organization, and slashed .318/.406/.455 with six homers in 387 plate appearances in 2023. Lee is known for his impressive eye, as he had a higher BB% (12.7%) than K% (5.9%).
His best season was in 2022, when he slashed .349/.421/.575 with 23 homers in 627 plate appearances, where he had 66 walks to 32 strikeouts. For Lee’s career, the outfielder is slashing .340/.407/.491 with 65 homers in 3947 plate appearances in the KBO. Moreover, he has 383 walks to 304 strikeouts.
Lee suffered an ankle injury in August that didn’t allow him to finish the season, a farewell bat aside. The 25-year-old was posted on December 4, 2023, and could command the largest contract from the KBO in history.
It was reported by Jon Heyman on Wednesday afternoon that interest in the 25-year-old was already growing. One team that is interested in the San Diego Padres, who have all but traded Juan Soto to the New York Yankees.
Although he isn’t a power bat, Lee’s ability to make contact and get on base will surely help the Jays, considering he’s also described by some as an above-average defender.
Michael A. Taylor:
Another option that has been linked to the Blue Jays is Michael A. Taylor. Most recently, Jon Morosi reported the Jays had interest on Wednesday afternoon.
The 32-year-old centre fielder spent the 2023 season with the Minnesota Twins and slashed .220/.278/.442 with a career-high 21 home runs in just 388 plate appearances. However, he had an incredibly high 33.5 K% while only walking 6.7% of the time. This gave him a 96 wRC+, the second highest mark of his career.
Defensively, he’s not as good as the departing Kevin Kiermaier, but he’s gets it done in the outfield. Last season, he only had 5 Defensive Runs Saved and 8 Outs Above Average, which is quite low for him. However, for the two seasons prior, he had 19 DRS in both, as well as 18 OAA in 2021 which saw him win his Gold Glove.
Also not to open old wounds, but it seemed like if the ball was hit in his vicinity during the Wild Card games, he’d catch it. Maybe that’s why the Blue Jays are interested.
Either way, the Jays will need to fill this hole either via signing a player or by trade, as they don’t have a ton of internal options.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.
Recent articles from Brennan Delaney