How far are Jays willing to go for Lorenzo Cain?

DETROIT, MI - July 26: Lorenzo Cain
DETROIT, MI - July 26: Lorenzo Cain /

With reports still linking the Toronto Blue Jays to Lorenzo Cain, what are they willing to offer for the 2015 All-Star outfielder?

Back in mid-November, we referred to a report from ESPN‘s Jerry Crasnick in respect of Lorenzo Cain. At the time, Crasnick claimed the Toronto Blue Jays had reached out to the outfielder.

This made a lot of sense, given the Blue Jays’ need for help in the outfield. Two months later nothing has changed, with them still being linked to Cain.

On the weekend, Sportsnet‘s Shi Davidi confirmed Toronto has inquired about the 2015 All-Star, at least to some degree. The question remains, how much are Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins prepared to offer for him?

What we do know is Cain is looking for a multi-year deal, after rejecting a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals. At the time, we estimated he would get a contract of around four years and $70 million.

According to Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Toronto Blue Jays are apparently willing to consider four years. However, the problem with this is Heyman now believes Cain is looking for five years.

Certainly, you can understand the 31-year-old wanting to earn as much as possible, in what will likely be his final lucrative, multi-year contract. There’s plenty of teams interested in him, including the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets.

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In that respect, the Blue Jays have to ask themselves how serious they are about making a move for Cain and contending in general? Shapiro claims they want to be contenders, but at what cost? Literally.

Davidi calculates the Toronto Blue Jays have an estimated $20 million available to add to the payroll in 2018. If true, this is important to note, give the likelihood Cain would take up the majority of that.

The Blue Jays do still need help in other areas, but if they can sign Cain, this would represent a real coup for the team. He has a strong bat, plays excellent defence and can steal bases.

As we’ve noted previously, about the only negative surrounding the free agent is his durability. Despite playing in 155 games last season, this was a career-high after previously being affected by various injuries since becoming a regular starter.

Ultimately though, the Blue Jays need to take a gamble and make a strong play for Cain. The extent of this gamble will tell you everything you need to know, regarding how serious they are about contending in 2018.

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Do you have any interest in the Toronto Blue Jays acquiring Cain? If so, what is your limit on what you would be prepared to offer the free agent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.