The Toronto Blue Jays are trying to put together the best possible team to compete for the AL East’s top spot.
They announced the signing of the latter on Thursday, on a one-year deal worth $9 million.
It’s a good payday for a player who appeared in just 63 games this past season and had a .650 OPS.
Still, he has a game-changing ability to play defense that teams found appealing.
There are also some incentives included in his deal that make it more attractive.
“Kiermaier deal includes $750K in possible bonuses he can earn by staying on the active roster,” MLB insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted.
Kiermaier deal includes $750K in possible bonuses he can earn by staying on the active roster. https://t.co/LfnjSg33GP
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 15, 2022
Kiermaier has an excellent glove and all, but his offense in 2022 indicates he might not be an above-average regular if that’s the role the Blue Jays have in mind.
Kiermaier Is Aging And May Not Be A Good Regular Anymore
When he is at his best, Kiermaier can offer a solid power-speed combo, league-average offense, and his trademark defense.
Age and injuries, however, are starting to affect his performance.
He will be 33 next season, so he is a bit past his prime and has also lost half a step defensively.
In 2022, he slashed .228/.281/.369 with a 90 wRC+ (100 is considered league average) in 221 plate appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays.
If he is fully healthy, he can surely improve, but his ceiling is somewhat capped at this point.
He would be an ideal fourth outfielder for a contending team, but the Blue Jays might give him a starting gig and it could prove to be a mistake for those comparing him with the now-departed Teoscar Hernandez.