Blue Jays Starters vs Trade Targets: Is There Even a Need?

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Jun 24, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) salutes the crowd after being relieved during a game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. The Toronto Blue Jays won 7-6.Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Buehrle vs The Big Fish

When the Toronto Blue Jays pulled off the “Miami Deal”, it felt like Mark Buehrle was more of a throw in, salary dump piece. The real prize was supposed to be Josh Johnson. Well, fast forward a few seasons and the argument can be made that Marky Mark and his 200 innings have been quite the steal. He’s been one of the most dependable starters over the last…long time.

But, is he enough to keep the Blue Jays content as they push for the playoffs? Would one (or any) of the Big Fish trade targets be an upgrade over Buehrle? How much? Take a look:

[table id=100 /]

As you can see, while the Blue Jays have enjoyed not sending him to the DL for a even a single day, Buehrle doesn’t represent the ace this club will need to take the division. His numbers have been good this year. His ERA of 3.64 is nothing to sneeze at and he’s been worth slightly less than Kazmir.

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  • The problem with relying on Buehrle is that you’re counting on his fairly high WHIP (which has been lower this season at 1.19) to get you through a game. And, with a WPA of just 0.29, the number of hits and walks that Buehrle gives up in a regular, day to day, inning to inning outing does not exactly instill confidence.

    And, if a team is going to challenge for a pennant, they need more of a “sure thing” (if there is such a thing in baseball). Something like Johnny Cueto’s 1.28 WPA might make us feel more confident going into a start that means something. Buehrle has tremendous value over the course of a season. There is no questioning that. But, when it comes to making a playoff push, of a one game “must win”, the Blue Jays will need to being in someone to give them a better shot.

    Next: Hutchison vs The Big Fish