The Blue Jays are among the teams interested in free-agent second baseman Kolten Wong, Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweets. There has been widespread interest this offseason in Wong, whom the Cardinals bought out for $1MM in lieu of exercising a $12.5MM option.
While Toronto likes Wong, he is not the team’s first choice at second, according to Morosi, who writes that that the club would prefer to sign fellow free agent DJ LeMahieu. Of course, LeMahieu will come at a much higher price tag than Wong. MLBTR predicts LeMahieu will get a four-year, $68MM payday this offseason, while Wong will earn a two-year, $16MM contract.
LeMahieu is far more of an impact player than Wong, but that’s not to say Wong isn’t a useful contributor. The 30-year-old has typically blended passable offense with exemplary defense since he debuted in earnest in 2014, thereby making him an average or slightly above-average regular. Wong’s now coming off a season in which he batted .265/.350/.326 (92 wRC+) with one home run, five stolen bases and 1.3 fWAR over 208 plate appearances. He tied for first among second basemen in Ultimate Zone Rating (3.8) and tied for second in Defensive Runs Saved (six).
The Blue Jays don’t necessarily need to find someone new to man the keystone, as they could just put Cavan Biggio there on a full-time basis. However, Biggio is versatile enough that he could move among multiple infield spots (including third base) and the outfield, so Toronto does have room to pick up a second baseman if it’s so inclined.