If you’re McKinney you have to hope the Blue Jays don’t have any plans to trade you considering the number of rosters he’s been on the past few seasons. While he might not have won a starting job, the team will make sure he gets an opportunity to play, something he’s been looking for and has earned.
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The team was experimenting with playing McKinney at first base and in the outfield during spring training and if he can prove to be playable at both positions he can be a valuable bench player. At this point the 24-year-old will do whatever he can to stay on the big-league roster.
"“Versatility’s pretty key in today’s game,” said McKinney to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith. “It’s hard to play 162, so guys just need breathers on their legs and just mental days, too. I have zero problem doing that. I’m comfortable.”"
The Blue Jays will probably want to go with a bigger bullpen which means they won’t have a deep bench so having McKinney playing multiple positions will help. At the same time, don’t expect him to play all the time in the infield considering Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales will play most of the time at first base.
After being acquired by the Blue Jays, McKinney hit .252/.320/.470 with six home runs and 13 RBI in 36 games. Alford was another option the team was probably considering but they get more out of having him play regularly at centre field in Buffalo then sitting on the bench. This is why McKinney was the better option and he could be an intriguing option going into this season.