Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Former Blue Jays Kevin Kiermaier and Jordan Hicks drawing interest from the Yankees and Orioles
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
While most of the focus around here is on names like Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto, there are some former Blue Jays who are drawing interest from other teams.
Jon Heyman wrote in the New York Post that the Yankees are interested in adding to their outfield this winter and Kevin Kiermaier is one of the options they’re considering behind the big names on the market.
“The Yankees have questions and it isn’t impossible they could sign both [Cody Bellinger] and Soto. However, they are also looking at former Korea MVP Jung Hoo Lee or even Kevin Kiermaier for center.”
Another article in the New York Post from earlier this week mapped out how Kiermaier could fit into the Yankees’ plans. Rookie Jasson Dominguez had a solid debut in centre field for the Yankees last year but he underwent Tommy John surgery and won’t be back until the latter part of the 2024 season, so a short-term stopgap would make sense for New York.
“Kevin Kiermaier and Jung Hoo Lee present two secondary choices to man center field, depending on how the Yankees want to attack their offseason and where they view Jasson Dominguez’s long-term position.Kiermaier, the defensively gifted veteran who has spent his entire career in the AL East, would provide a shorter-term option.Kiermaier is expected to receive a raise from the one-year, $9 million deal he played on last season, but would be a strong fit to fill in in center field at least until Dominguez is ready to return from Tommy John surgery (perhaps around midseason).If the Yankees view Dominguez as their long-term left fielder instead of center fielder, then Lee could be an intriguing addition in center.The 25-year-old, left-handed hitter is set to be posted by his KBO team in early December, though he may have even more teams chasing him than Bellinger in part because he won’t cost as much.”
Speculation about the Yankees signing Kiermaier is nothing new. When the Blue Jays were in New York back in September, Kiermaier was asked about his impending free agency and the Gold Glove winner mentioned how he liked playing at Yankee Stadium.
“I like the AL East. I’ve played in the division my entire career. I especially like here [Yankee Stadium] and Fenway,” Kiermaier said. “It feels like I’m always hitting homers here or playing well.Being on the turf my entire career, I enjoy being on the grass. My body feels so much better being on grass.”
Kiermaier signed a one-year, show-me contract with the Blue Jays last winter after an injury-riddled year with the Tampa Bay Rays. The 33-year-old had an excellent rebound season in Toronto but the expectation is that the Blue Jays will look for a bigger bat to play in left field while Daulton Varsho moves over to centre.
Also drawing interest from an AL East club is Jordan Hicks, according to Heyman. The Baltimore Orioles are said to be looking for a late-game reliever and Hicks is among the pitchers that they’ve reached out to.
“The Orioles also seek a back-end reliever and have contacted Maryland product and ex-Oriole farmhand Josh Hader plus Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Jordan Hicks. Hader may be a bit pricey for the O’s, though.”
The Blue Jays acquired Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals ahead of the trade deadline and the hard-throwing righty posted a 2.63 ERA over 24 innings for the team down the stretch. His strikeouts per nine dipped from 12.7 with St. Louis to 8.3 with Toronto but Hicks chopped his walks per nine from 5.2 to 3.0 with the Blue Jays.
Despite the fact Hicks did well with the Blue Jays and their pitching staff, there hasn’t been much noise about him returning to Toronto. The Blue Jays have a pretty loaded bullpen with Jordan Romano, Erik Swanson, Tim Mayza, and other veterans in the mix. A reunion with Hicks might have been merely likely if the Blue Jays declined their options with veteran reliever Chad Green, which comes in at two years, $21 million.
Recent articles from Cam Lewis
- BJN Radio – Ep. 195: Spring Training is underway, big-name free agents still remain, and more!
- Bo Bichette says Blue Jays are going into a season “trying to prove people wrong” for the first time
- General manager Ross Atkins says “We feel good about the team that we have” but many Blue Jays fans aren’t as optimistic