Slow and steady wins the race. That was certainly the case for former Astros outfielder George Springer who, after months of waiting, has finally found a home up north. Springer’s free-agent fortune comes in the form of a six-year, $150-million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, a deal first reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The 31-year-old leadoff hitter is en route to the team’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida for a physical, after which he will officially become a Toronto Blue Jay.
A three-time All-Star and former World Series MVP, Springer belted 174 homers over his seven-year tenure in Houston (795 games). He joins an up-and-coming Blue Jays team coming off a surprise playoff appearance in 2020. The former UConn Husky will be an elder statesman of sorts in Toronto, bringing postseason experience and veteran leadership to a lineup featuring young stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. Springer is a monster get for the Jays, who previously struck out in their pursuits of Francisco Lindor and DJ LeMahieu.
It’s been a busy week for the Jays who, on top of signing Springer to the largest contract in franchise history, also bolstered their pen with the addition of former Padres closer Kirby Yates. Toronto’s spending spree might not be over with insider Ken Rosenthal reporting the Blue Jays have interest in another former Astro, Michael Brantley. A four-time All-Star and .297 lifetime hitter in the major leagues, Brantley maintains a close friendship with Springer and is represented by the same agency (Excel Sports Management). Brantley’s primary position is left field, though the Blue Jays would likely slot him at DH.
Due to his local ties, most presumed Springer (a Connecticut native) would end up a Met. But he must have seen something in the Jays with Sportnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith noting Springer was “impressed” by Toronto’s free-agent pitch. New York’s first offseason under new owner Steve Cohen has largely been a success, though between the Jared Porter scandal and Springer snubbing the Mets for Toronto, the past 24 hours have not been kind.