By Kaitlyn McGrath of The AthleticBlue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. He had surgery on his left wrist today. He is expected to be ready for spring training.
Gurriel spent 2022 as Toronto’s premier left fielder, slashing .291/.343/.400 (114 wRC+) in 121 games this season. With only 5 home runs in 2022, Gurriel saw his power evaporate this season. Gurriel had hit at least 11 home runs in every season of his career prior to this year, with 21 home runs in 2021 being the most he had ever hit in a season, and the second time he topped 20 home runs in a season. . The news that he had been dealing with a wrist problem this season may provide an explanation for this power outage.
While his power waned in 2022, Gurriel’s season was not a total loss. He still posted the 51st-lowest strikeout rate in the majors among hitters with at least 400 plate appearances along with the best wRC+ in a full season of his career, though he fared better during the shortened 2020 season (134 wRC+) as well. as during his 84 matches played in 2019 (125 wRC+).
Heading into the offseason, Gurriel’s control of Toronto’s day job of left field already seemed tenuous, and the outfield was a clear place where the Blue Jays could improve their offense heading into 2023. With Gurriel expected to be ready for spring training, there’s little reason to think the surgery changes the front office calculus, but Toronto is still likely to look for upgrades in the outfield corners this offseason, with the likes of David Peralta, Joc PedersenY Mitch Hanger among the possible options.
Regardless of potential additions to the Toronto outfield, Gurriel will earn $5.4MM for his 29-year-old season in 2023, the final year of his seven-year, $22MM contract with the Blue Jays, after which he will be eligible for agency. free.