Gregor Chisholm: DJ LeMahieu is off the Blue Jays’ board but that might only narrow their free-agent focus

Another day, another report that the Blue Jays were runners-up in their pursuit of a high-impact target. With action across baseball finally starting to pick up, Toronto’s front office has yet to make a big move, but that still doesn’t mean the organization is about to come away empty-handed.

DJ LeMahieu was the latest star player to come off the board Friday when he agreed to re-sign with the New York Yankees for $90 million (U.S.) across six seasons. According to multiple reports out of New York, the Blue Jays had the second highest bid at four years and $78 million. Close, but not close enough, just like last week’s trade of Francisco Lindor to the Mets.

LeMahieu and Lindor would have been notable upgrades to the Jays’ lineup. They’re both star players who had the potential to turn a solid offence into one of the league’s best. But the Jays don’t need to lose sleep over either one; this isn’t a team that lacks infielders, there are greater needs elsewhere, with top options still in play.

Last year’s free agency was a game of musical chairs that basically resulted in lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu falling into the Jays’ laps. They must be hoping for something similar this off-season and it just might happen with one of the big free agents still available. General manager Ross Atkins has a briefcase full of cash, he just needs someone willing to take it.…

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