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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: George Springer

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

George Springer is a 33-year-old, right-handed hitting, former center fielder who will mainly be playing right field this season.

Springer signed a six-year $150 million contract in January of 2021. It was kind of weirdly structured (the yearly pay peaked in 2022 at $28 million, drops to $22.5 million next year and for the next three seasons after that), and there are incentives for MVP, All-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and World Series MVP awards. And there is a partial no-trade list.

He tells us he is recovered from

In his first two seasons with the Blue Jays, Springer had a .266/.346/.502 line with 47 home runs in 211 games good for a 6.4 bWAR.

The number that kind of stands out is the 221 games. He’s missed 103 games over the two years. Which explains the move from center to right field. There is a lot of wear and tear on a 33-year-old. The center fielder gets the most plays, the most putouts, of the three outfield spots. On top of that, the center fielder backs up his outfield partners on all balls hit to them. And he backs up all plays up the middle. Ground balls to the second baseman and shortstop he’s backing up throws from the catcher to second base he backs up. He moves on almost every play.

It may not seem like a lot to us watching, but it is a fair bit of extra wear and tear that Springer won’t be inflicting on himself when he’s in right.

George does seem the go-all-out all the time type. Vernon Wells and Kevin Pillar were much the same type of players, and they both missed their fair share of playing time with various injuries and wear and tear. And neither of the two aged well.

Not that you can’t get injured in a corner outfield spot. But if you are a little prone to wear and tear injuries, center field might not be the best position.

Our batting order is a lot deeper with Springer in the lineup, so I’m good with anything that keeps him playing. I’d imagine he’ll still be getting some starts at DH.

Springer was about league average at CF with a 0.1 UZR/150, which tracks with the eye test. Outs Above Average has him at a +1. Again pretty much average. There are a lot of very good defensive CFers, so you have to be pretty good to be ‘average’. But an average CFer could be an excellent RFer. He’ll be a big upgrade over Teoscar Hernandez defensively.

I’d like to move Springer out of the leadoff spot, but last year, he hit .313/.368/.609 leading off a game. And he hit .297/.375/.541 leading off any inning. I doubt that it is a particular skill, but then I’d likely not play around with something that works.

Steamer predicts Springer will play 138 games, hitting .258/.338/.479 with 31 home runs and 14 stolen bases.


If the over/under on Springer’s games played is 138 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    (148 votes)
  • 61%
    (235 votes)
383 votes total Vote Now


If the over/under on Springer’s innings played in center is 80 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    (128 votes)
  • 65%
    (240 votes)
368 votes total Vote Now


What would you think of making Springer the "Team Captain"?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    I’d be all for it
    (243 votes)
  • 35%
    (135 votes)
378 votes total Vote Now


The best leadoff hitter in Jays history is

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Alfredo Griffin (no, honest he spent three seasons as our leadoff man)
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Damaso Garcia
    (2 votes)
  • 26%
    Tony Fernandez
    (106 votes)
  • 38%
    Devon White
    (153 votes)
  • 1%
    Otis Nixon
    (5 votes)
  • 10%
    Shannon Stewart
    (41 votes)
  • 1%
    Reed Johnson
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Yunel Escobar
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Jose Reyes
    (7 votes)
  • 16%
    George Springer
    (66 votes)
  • 2%
    Someone else
    (8 votes)
399 votes total Vote Now