The Toronto Blue Jays continue to make big moves this off-season signing Kevin Gausman to a five-year, $110 million deal.
Little by little, the Toronto Blue Jays continue to shake off their old reputation as a team that wouldn’t make a splash in free agency.
Signing Jose Berrios to a massive seven-year extension shows that they are willing to invest in what they are building. Then by landing Kevin Gausman, the Blue Jays let teams know that they aren’t going to settle for the leftovers in free agency.
Toronto couldn’t land Gausman in free agency last season as he decided to return to San Francisco and helped the Giants to a 107-55 record. He had a 14-6 record with 227 strikeouts, 50 walks through 192 innings.
What this does is set up the rotation with two dynamic starters in Gausman and Berrios while Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alek Manoah and a mix of other free agents and potentially Nate Pearson to fill out the pitching staff. It also means that Robbie Ray likely won’t be returning which will be tough for fans to hear but the Blue Jays did find a way to replace the AL Cy Young winner at a reasonable cost since he will likely command a big payday.
As Nick Selbe of Sports Illustrated points out, a comparison between Gausman and Ray shows that the new Blue Jays starter wasn’t hit as hard as Ray and generate more swings and misses. If Pete Walker can help Gausman maintain the level of success he has, this should be a great signing for Toronto.
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Blue Jays still looking to address rotation while the bullpen gets a major boost
Gausman wasn’t the only addition to the Blue Jays pitching staff as Yimi Garcia was brought in on a two-year deal worth $11 million, according to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi.
Garcia provides the team with a legitimate back-end reliever for the bullpen where he had 15 saves in 18 opportunities and pitched to a 3.47 ERA in 39 games. He played a big role in the Houston Astros playoff run and has a fastball that generates some swings and misses.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Blue Jays try to find more options for the bullpen but they also need to be mindful of the departure of Steven Matz in the rotation. What he produced at a $5.2 million salary is going to be tough to replace but Toronto has to be confident in getting some bounce-back candidates.
What do you think about the Blue Jays deal for Gausman and Garcia? Were they the right additions and what else do you expect the team to do this off-season? Let us know in the comments below.