Blue Jays too high in standings, came up empty on waiver wire front

Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
7 months ago
In the end, the Toronto Blue Jays had won too many games to land one of the impact players made available on the waiver wire.
With several non-contending teams looking to save a bit of cash, many notable names were put on waivers earlier this week, and a few undoubtedly caught the attention of Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins, particularly Los Angeles’ Hunter Renfroe and New York’s Harrison Bader. However, due to the club’s 73-61 record, they were too high on the priority list to snatch either of them.
The Cincinnati Reds, at 69-66, ended up claiming both veteran outfielders to help fill the void left by Jake Fraley, who is currently on the 10-day IL with a toe injury.
Renfroe, a free agent after this season, would have inserted some much-needed thump to Toronto’s lineup, courtesy of his 19 home runs and .434 SLG in 126 games with the Angels this season. But, as his 98 wRC+ suggests, the 31-year-old probably wouldn’t have made a significant impact.
Bader wouldn’t have come with anywhere near as much power as Renfroe, and rightly so, but the fellow impending free agent could’ve further improved the club’s outfield defence. In 84 games with New York, the 2021 Gold Glove winner posted +5 DRS and +8 OAA across 673.1 innings.
The 29-year-old did, however, enjoy a fair amount of success versus left-handed pitching, albeit over a tiny sample size, as he slashed .343/.392/.687 with a 191 wRC+ over 74 plate appearances.
Of the six Angels placed through waivers, only one went unclaimed: former Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk.
It’s not like Grichuk has been very productive in 2023, though. Things went well in Colorado – part of which was likely thanks to inflated results at Coors Field – slashing .308/.365/.496 with eight home runs and a 117 wRC+ across 64 games, worth 0.7 fWAR. But the move to California has been a disaster since the trade deadline.
The 32-year-old has struggled to a .168/.220/.347 with a miserable 47 wRC+ in 28 games, worth -0.4 fWAR. It remains to be seen if he’ll stay with the Angels or be released after clearing waivers.
Despite missing out on this group of free players, the Blue Jays are expected to activate reliever Chad Green from the 60-day IL prior to Friday’s series opener against the Rockies.


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