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Free Agent Profile: Another slugger is on the market as the Brewers non-tendered Rowdy Tellez

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Photo credit:© Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
Might we see the Blue Jays have a reunion with a slugger this winter?
In this series, we look at free agents who the Jays could be interested in as free agency continues. We’ve already covered 13 players, which you can find at the bottom of this article. Let’s look at former Blue Jay Rowdy Tellez, who was non-tendered by the Brewers last week. 

Rowdy Tellez’s 2023:

The 28-year-old slugger had a rough season in 2023, slashing .215/.291/.376 with 13 homers in 351 plate appearances for a 78 wRC+ and a -0.9 fWAR. His 24.5 K% was the highest since his first full season in the Majors with the Blue Jays in 2019, when he had a 28.4 K%, while his BB% of 10% was the second-highest figure of his career.
Tellez was coming off a career season in 2022, where he slashed .219/.306/.461 with 35 homers in 599 plate appearances, along with a 110 wRC+ and 0.8 fWAR. He ultimately finished his time in Milwaukee with a line of .226/.305/.438, along with 55 home runs and 164 runs batted in over 314 games. 

Rowdy Tellez’s contract:

Before his non-tender, MLB Trade Rumors predicted that Tellez would make $5.9 in arbitration. Even if an arbitration-eligible player has the worst season in history, they can’t make less than they made the previous season. However, that isn’t the case now that Tellez is a free agent.
Last winter, sluggers looking to rebuild their value like Brandon Belt and Joey Gallo signed one-year deals worth $9.3 million and $11 million respectively. Tellez doesn’t have the same track record as those two, so the one-year, $2 million that Dominic Smith signed with the Washington Nationals would be a more realistic comparable.

Is Rowdy Tellez a fit for the Blue Jays:

One of the holes that the Blue Jays will need to fill this winter is Brandon Belt’s spot as the lefty slugger who backed up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base. Tellez has played in that exact role before and he had mixed results, including a huge 2020 season and a poor follow-up in 2021 that ultimately resulted in him being traded to address other needs on the roster. 
Tellez’s results with Milwaukee in 2021 and 2022 are no joke, but the question is whether the Blue Jays think they can do better elsewhere. The Jays could look for a veteran presence for this role, such as Canadian legend Joey Votto, or they could look internally for a left-handed batting first baseman, such as Spencer Horwitz. 

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

Previously…


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