Report: Blue Jays, Mets reach out to free agent Cain

by 6d ago
Duane Burleson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Outfielder Lorenzo Cain is expected to have plenty of bidders on the open market, with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets reportedly reaching out early, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

The Blue Jays are entering 2018 without Jose Bautista, so Cain could represent a potential replacement. The 31-year-old has primarily played center field throughout his career, though he has spent 157 games in right field. With defensive stalwart Kevin Pillar entrenched in center, Cain would likely have to move to another spot.

The Mets currently have Brandon Nimmo projected as the team's starting center fielder. Acquiring Cain would solidify their outfield with Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes on the corners.

Whichever club signs Cain will have to relinquish a draft pick to the Kansas City Royals as compensation for him turning down the team's $17.4-million qualifying offer. Nine players received qualifying offers this year, including three from the Royals, and all are expected to decline. Players have until Thursday at 5 p.m. ET to make a decision.

Cain spent the last seven seasons with the Royals, winning a World Series in 2015, and hitting .289/.342/.421 with 56 home runs, 308 RBIs, and 120 stolen bases over 713 games. He was originally acquired as a key piece of the trade that sent Zack Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers.