Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays won’t be making a big splash in the free agent waters this offseason however they will need to shore up the backend of the rotation and there are some viable arms available.
First and foremost the Blue Jays need a couple of innings eaters, somebody with a proven track record for longevity that can step in and make 30 starts next season. The Blue Jays duo of Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez cannot be relied upon to do the heavy lifting with their propensity for the disabled list.
Their unreliability coupled with the rookie’s inexperience is a recipe for disaster. This is where Gio Gonzalez enters the fold. The 33-year old has made more than 30 starts in 8 of his last 9 seasons and the year he missed the mark, he had 27 starts. Gonzalez was dealt from the Nationals to the Brewers for the playoff push and will hit free agency after earning $12 million last season.
In 2018, Gonzalez was 10-11 with a 4.21 earned run average, however, he was money down the stretch for the Brew Crew posting a 2.13 earned run average in five regular season starts. The hurler also sports a career 3.69 ERA and is a year removed from a 2.96 ERA season in 2017.
MLB Trade Rumours has Gonzalez ranked as the 27th best free agent on the market and predicted he would sign a 2 year/ $24 million dollar pact with the Athletics. Gonzalez would be an upgrade over Marco Estrada.
The Blue Jays could also cast a line at Trevor Cahill who MLB Trade Rumours actually tabbed as signing with the Jays for 2 years/ $22 million. Cahill is ranked as the 30th best free agent available after spending last season in Oakland.
Cahill went 7-4 with a 3.76 earned run average in 21 games last season for the upstart Athletics. The 30-year old is younger than Gonzalez but does not boast the same track record for longevity. Cahill has battled injuries over the years and has been relegated back and forth from the bullpen.
The right-hander earned a modest $1.5 million in 2018 which will obviously not be the case moving forward.
Other honorable free agent mentions are Lance Lynn, Derek Holland, Wade Miley, and Drew Pomeranz. I like Garrett Richards as a buy-low candidate although he will not pitch in 2019 so it would take at least a 2-year deal to reap any rewards from Richards the following season.