Toronto Blue Jays unconcerned by Seung-hwan Oh’s physical complication


The Toronto Blue Jays have full confidence in Seung-hwan Oh, regardless of an issue which arose during his physical with the Texas Rangers.

As we reported earlier this week, the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to terms with free agent pitcher Seung-hwan Oh. The deal was for one year and $1.75 million, with a club/vesting option for 2019, worth $2.5 million and with a $250,000 buyout.

However, almost immediately, questions arose about how the Jays were even in a position to be able to sign Oh in the first place? An issue during his physical with the Texas Rangers, prompted them to apparently ask three times for the terms of the contract to be changed.

The problem related to right elbow ligament inflammation. Although it should be noted there was no structural damage and the issue was not considered too serious.

Regardless, the fact the Rangers wanted to modify the deal with Oh has still got some people concerned. Jays general manager Ross Atkins did his best to put any fears to rest:

"“We feel really good about our process and about the information that we had prior to Texas and after Texas coming out,” said Atkins, as reported by Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling. “Our due diligence suggests that with his emphasis on strength and conditioning, his emphasis on how he takes care of himself, that he should be able to help us.”"

In fairness, while a certain degree of concern is understandable, it is worth noting the Rangers still wanted to sign Oh. It would have been more worrisome if they had withdrawn from the deal altogether.

Similarly, why would the Jays take the risk of signing the 35-year-old, if his shoulder issue was something serious? They performed their own physical, prior to bringing him on board.

As far as we’re concerned, the Toronto Blue Jays are taking a justified risk, as they look to bolster their relief staff. What we are wondering though, is which version of Oh will they get?

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Will it be the version which came flying onto the scene with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016? The one who recorded an excellent 1.92 ERA in 76 appearances, along with 19 saves and a 0.916 WHIP.

On the one who struggled during his second year with the Cardinals? The one which saw his ERA balloon to 4.10 in 62 appearances, and essentially saw his statistics decline in virtually every relevant category?

It helps that Oh will be supremely motivated after the complications with the Rangers, while also being extremely grateful to the Toronto Blue Jays for taking a chance on him. Speaking though his translator, as reported by Zwelling, he said:

"“It was good to see teammates and a lot of the coaching staff. The teammates were very welcoming to me here. I’m very happy to be here. The way the Blue Jays processed everything quickly, it motivated me. I’m ready to go now.”"

Renowned for being unshakable on the mound no matter how bad things are going, Oh will mostly rely on a fourseam fastball (93 mph) and slider (86 mph). As per his pitching repertoire on Brooks Baseball, his fastball is particularly effective, as it produces a high number of swings and misses compared to other pitchers.

Ultimately, there’s a lot to like about this signing. If the South Korean reverts to anything close to his 2016 form, the Blue Jays’ bullpen will be in great shape.

Next: Marcus Stroman a doubt for opening day

Are you on the same wavelength as Atkins, in terms of his confidence about the Jays’ process before signing Oh? Or are you concerned that complications may arise, relating to the issues found during his physical with the Rangers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.