Toronto Blue Jays: Is Lorenzo Cain worth the risk?


Making a move for Lorenzo Cain sounds like a simple enough decision for the Toronto Blue Jays to make, but there are several factors which need to be considered.

It’s fair to say the outfield for the Toronto Blue Jays isn’t quite as strong these days. This was best highlighted by the deteriorating play of Jose Bautista during the past season, leading to the decision to decline his option for 2018.

As a result, the Blue Jays need help. This has led to some interesting speculation in recent days.

According to ESPN‘s Jerry Crasnick, the Blue Jays have reached out to free agent Lorenzo Cain. The question is, does he fit the bill and if so, how much will it take to sign him?

In terms of cost, one thing which will help Toronto decide, is Cain’s decision to reject a one-year, $17.4 qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals. In truth, this is no surprise, given he should receive more lucrative, longer-term offers on the open market.

If the Blue Jays are to sign the 2015 All-Star, they will face stiff competition. Crasnick notes the New York Mets have also reached out early to him, while advising the likes of the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants are other potential fits.

This interest is expected, after an excellent 2017 campaign from Cain. He batted .300, producing 15 homers and 49 RBI in the process, while also stealing 26 bases.

More from Toronto Blue Jays

Max Rieper of the Royals Review notes Cain’s defense took a step back in 2017. However, it was relatively minor and he still remains an excellent, versatile option who can help any team.

However, if you’re looking for any reason not to make a move for the 2014 ALCS MVP, there are some minor questions relating to his durability. While this past season saw him play in 155 games, this represented a career high after previously being dogged by various injuries since becoming a regular starter.

There will no doubt also be concerns about committing to Cain long-term, given his age. However, in the game of professional baseball, risks like this are always being taken, as everyone looks to gain that vital edge to reach the ultimately glory of a World Series Championship.

Which brings us back to the question of how much the Toronto Blue Jays should — or will — be prepared to offer for the 31-year-old? Taking into account what the likes of Jon Heyman and Dave Cameron are predicting, our best guesstimate is around four years and $70 million.

Assuming the Blue Jays are actually interested in Cain, any offer from them will give a good indication of their plans for the coming season. No doubt a lot of fans will be hoping the aim is to look seriously into returning to the postseason, rather than just concentrate on saving money and building for the future.

Next: Aaron Sanchez says finger is healthy

What’s your opinion of Cain? Are you making a move for him or not? And if so, how much would you be prepared to offer the outfielder? Share your thoughts in the comments section.