Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier says he will let Shohei Ohtani ‘set the market’ and hopes ‘the cards fall’ in free agency
Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro/USA Today
By Zach Laing1 month ago
In terms of fan favourites, Kevin Kiermaier quickly became that for those who watched the Toronto Blue Jays this year.
He joined the Jays on a one-year, $9-million deal ahead of this season after spending the last 11 with the Jays’ division rival Tampa Bay Rays. With his tremendous outfield play and resurgence at the plate, Kiermaier’s high-flying moments caught the eye of many Jays fans.
And part of what helped him fit was his great sense of humour, which was on display Wednesday despite an eliminated loss to the Minnesota Twins.
A free agent heading into this off-season, Kiermaier joked with reporters when asked about what his plans were.
“I’m going to let (Shohei) Ohtani set the market and then maybe I’ll let the cards fall after that, regarding me,” Kiermaier said, before adding “I’ll listen to whoever has interest and go from there.”
Kiermaier was a big piece of the Jays’ outfield this year with his 18 defensive runs saved the fourth most in the major leagues, and 11 back of MLB leader, and teammate, Daulton Varsho.
At the plate, he got the job done when needed to. He slashed .265/.322/.419 with eight home runs, 14 stolen bags and a 104 OPS+ up from his 98 career average.
There’s a path for Kiermaier to return to the Jays, and the team continuing to push to stay competitive would be key in bringing him back. He made it clear throughout the season that he was looking to win with it being a driving factor in his decision to join the Jays.
Whatever happens, he’s surely a player to keep an eye on as the Jays offseason kicks off a lot sooner than many hoped for.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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