Blue Jays rumors: Targetting Craig Stammen for bullpen


The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly in touch with free agent reliever Craig Stammen, a rebound candidate who underwent forearm surgery in 2015

Toronto appears to be kicking the tires on a buy-low candidate at the Winter Meetings in former Washington Nationals reliever Craig Stammen. After missing nearly all of 2015 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right flexor tendon, Stammen was non-tendered by the Nats with a projected $2.4 million payday coming in arbitration.

The 6’4″, 230-pound right-hander is 31 years old has one arbitration year remaining after spending the entirety of his career with Washington. After breaking in to the league as a starter in 2009 and 2010, Stammen has been used solely in a relief role since that point.

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From the beginning of 2011 up until present day, his Major League statistics are actually fairly encouraging. That span covers 175 games and 257.0 innings in which he has produced a 2.80 ERA with an 8.3 K/9.

Stammen’s most effective season came in 2013 where he pitched his way to a 1.1 FanGraphs WAR. After a 2.34 ERA in 2012, that 2013 campaign saw him put up a 2.76 ERA with a 2.82 FIP and 8.7 K/9. Those strikeout numbers dipped to 6.9 in 2014 before his non-existent 2015, but there seems to be a fair level of optimism that he’s a candidate to enjoy a bounce-back. Mike Wilner mused that he could be a Ryan Madson-lite.

This obviously isn’t the news that Blue Jays fans are looking for, but these are the moves you’ll find in any team’s offseason. The issue is making seperate moves that are above and beyond this, but if we can view this in a vacuum for a moment, there’s some appeal. Especially given the possibility that Stammen would come very cheap in a market that’s gone absolutely insane for relief pitching.

Rant away!