The New York Yankees outbid the Toronto Blue Jays for D.J. LeMahieu in re-signing the American League batting champion last week, but the Jays came out on top in the pursuit for free agent outfielder George Springer, signing three-time All-Star to a six-year, $150 million contract on Wednesday.
The 2017 World Series MVP was pursued by Toronto and the New York Mets, but according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand the Mets would not exceed $120-125 million on a six-year contract for the 31-year-old, while the Blue Jays were willing to give Springer a higher AAV for a deal of the same length.
Toronto also added 34-year-old closer, Kirby Yates, earlier in the week on a one-year, $5.5 million deal and reports early Wednesday had the club adding another Astro outfielder in Michael Brantley to the fold on a three-year deal, but those turned out to be false and Brantley ended up re-signing with Houston for two years.
The signing of Springer gives Toronto a veteran center fielder to play in between Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and Randall Grichuk, and a table-setter to bat at the top of the order for young sluggers Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, that could put the Blue Jays in the mix with Tampa Bay and the Yankees in the AL East.
A former Jay and Yankee, pitcher JA Happ found a home on Wednesday, signing a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins. Happ, 38, went 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA in nine starts with New York last season, but was used enough by the Yankees to trigger an option for 2021 and became a free agent.