Report: Blue Jays could emerge as ‘dark horse’ for J.D. Martinez

MLB insiders Ben Nicholson-Smith and Shi Davidi join Hazel Mae to discuss any Blue Jays activity from the GM meetings, wondering if free agent centre fielder Lorenzo Cain would be a good fit for them.

It’s no secret that the Toronto Blue Jays are looking to upgrade their outfield this off-season and J.D. Martinez is the latest name connected to the team.

Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports is reporting that the Blue Jays “could emerge as a dark horse candidate” for Martinez.

Heyman cited the departure of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in consecutive winters as a reason for Toronto to consider Martinez.

Martinez split time last season with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 runs-batted in over 119 games.

If the Blue Jays do make a push for Martinez, they’ll have some competition. Heyman says the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Diamondbacks have also shown interest in signing the 30-year-old.

Those teams may also be more inclined than the Blue Jays to match the high contract demands Martinez is reportedly making.

Heyman also added that Toronto is interested in outfielder Jay Bruce, who is reportedly asking for $80 million.

The Blue Jays nearly acquired Bruce in a trade before the 2016 season. The trade fell apart when one of the prospects involved failed a physical, but Bruce was reported as being excited to join Toronto.

Bruce, 30, hit .254/.324/.508 with 36 home runs in 146 games split last year with the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians.