The Blue Jays and the Mets are eyeing free agent Lorenzo Cain as a possible center fielder to sign this offseason, sources told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Crasnick says both clubs have “reached out early” to Cain, who is arguably the top center fielder on the open market. However, Crasnick added that the Rangers, Mariners and Giants “could be potential fits” for Cain.
The 31-year-old Cain is coming off a season in which he slashed .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI while playing a career-high 155 games for the Royals. In his eight seasons with Kansas City, he has posted a .290/.342/.421 slash line and was an All-Star in 2015 — the year he helped the club win the World Series and also finished third in the AL MVP voting.
The Blue Jays are in need of outfielders after deciding not to bring back right fielder Jose Bautista and having a below-average platoon in left field right now in Ezequiel Carrera and Steve Pearce. The Blue Jays are also reportedly pursuing Jay Bruce in free agency.
The Mets are more of an interesting case, as they have some quality outfielders in Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares. But, Conforto had shoulder surgery and Cespedes had hamstring injuries and Lagares broke his thumb last year, so adding Cain would give them depth at the position.