Carlos Gonzalez could be short-term solution for Jays’ outfield woes

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 16: Carlos Gonzalez
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 16: Carlos Gonzalez /

The Toronto Blue Jays addressed one of their many needs over the weekend. Now, they need to fill the holes in their outfield

The Toronto Blue Jays awoke from their offseason slumber on Saturday, trading for infielder Yangervis Solarte.

With that, the Jays addressed their need for more depth and versatility in the infield. However, there are still several bases that need to be covered before the team can be considered complete for the upcoming season.

On Tuesday, Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins was on Sportsnet 590 to discuss the offseason. He talked about where the team needs to focus their efforts now the infield situation is resolved:

"“We need to improve our outfield. We need to improve our pitching. Which one of those two will largely depend on the acquisition cost. Hopefully it is both. I think, realistically it will be, that we improve in both of those areas. Which one is more important? Probably the outfield.”"

With Jose Bautista departing the team this offseason, the Jays now have a hole in right field. However, they could do well to improve both of their corner outfield positions this season. Currently, Steve Pearce and Teoscar Hernandez are the opening day starters, with Ezequiel Carrera being the backup for the pair.

A large chunk of the offseason spotlight has been shined on Lorenzo Cain, and the Jays’ need to sign the former Kansas City Royals centre fielder.

Mike Wilner was also on Sportsnet 590 on Tuesday. The Blue Jays Play-by-Play man for 590 spoke about his doubts that the Toronto Blue Jays and Cain are a good fit:

"“He turns 32 almost two weeks into the season. As good of a player as he is, he’s a speed guy. Those guys tend not to age well. I don’t think he’s going to come on a one year deal and then go out and contend with Harper, Machado, and Donaldson.”"

Wilner also said the Jays won’t be after Jay Bruce, because the cap hit and term wouldn’t be right for the team. Instead, Wilner said the Jays should take a look at signing an outfielder on a one-year deal:

"“I could see Carlos Gonzalez coming on a one-year, rebuild-value-and-go-back-out-there deal, and I like that idea.Gonzalez may or may not be a Coors Field creation but he’s a good hitter who had an unbelieveable last couple of months in the last season. And he was great in the past. Left handed power hitter fits well.”"

Gonzalez would add a lefty bat to a righty-heady Jays lineup. With the addition of Solarte, a switch-hitter, the Toronto Blue Jays now have three players that can hit on either side of the plate.

The 32-year-old right fielder would immediately fill the void left by Bautista. He has great power, however, time away will prove whether or not it was a product of the most hitter-friendly ballpark in MLB.

CarGo had his best statistical season of his career in 2010. He had career high’s in average (.336), hits (197), runs (111), RBI’s (117), and stolen bases (26). He received the NL Batting Title for his efforts.

Along with his batting, Gonzalez also has a proven fielding acumen in the Majors. He has won the NL Gold Glove on three occasions:

Last season wasn’t one that would give many Jays fans excited for this move. However, look at two seasons ago, when he had a .298 average to go along with 87 runs, 42 doubles, 25 home runs and 100 RBI’s.

If he can regain that form, it would be silly for the Toronto Blue Jays not to take a waiver on Gonzalez, who would be batting in the bottom half of the lineup.

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That’s a big if though. A bounce-back season is expected from him, however, those numbers would be very difficult to replicate.

Obviously, he isn’t the big-name signing Jays fans are hoping for but, with the team going into what looks to be their final “Go-for-it year”, would it be in the Jays’ best interest to sign a player for four-plus seasons for big money?

If the Jays do go after Cain or Gonzalez, they would still need some help in the outfield. Unless they feel completely comfortable with Hernandez as an everyday starter, another mid-level free agent would do them well on top of either of these players.

Carrera is the only backup at the moment, with the Jays sounding like they will move on from either Pearce or Kendrys Morales (or both).

It looks as though the outfield will be the next base covered by the Jays in free agency. What the brass does is anyone’s guess, but it will all go down within the next month.

Next: How far are Jays willing to go for Lorenzo Cain?

What do you think of Gonzalez coming to the Toronto Blue Jays? Would you be happy with him on a short-term deal? Or would you rather see them go after Cain? Let us know in the comments below.