Insider: Blue Jays Showing Interest in Free Agent Centerfielder

Kevin Kiermaier was a valuable one-season addition for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2023, playing an elite centerfield, offering speed on the bases, and leadership off the field. But he's not expected to return as a free agent this winter, and according to Insider Jon Morosi, the Blue Jays have their eye on Michael A. Taylor as a replacement.

Taylor is a similar type of player to Kiermaier, offering plenty of defense and speed, with a Gold Glove from 2021. 

At the plate, however, he's nothing to write home about, and is far less productive at the plate. Only once in his 10-year career has Taylor been an above-average hitter, registering an OPS+ above 100 only way back in 2017. Since then, he's consistently been far under average, though his output with the Minnesota Twins in 2023 was his second-"best" showing in the majors with an OPS+ of 94. 

The 32-year-old blasted a career-high 21 home runs with the Twins, while stealing 13 bases in 129 games. But he also had a .220 average with a .278 on-base percentage, in each case, the second-worst marks of his career. 

Taylor spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Nationals, and has a World Series ring from his time there (getting one single at-bat in the Series). 

Overall, he'd be a step down from Kiermaier, who has four Gold Gloves in his 11 seasons, and had a respectable OPS+ of 104 this year with the Jays. 

Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports