Blue Jays: A look at 8 non-tendered free agent pitchers

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Minor (27)
2015:  Did not pitch

I’ll include lefty starter Mike Minor on the back end due to how tantalizing his talent can be when healthy. The former 7th Overall selection of the Atlanta Braves underwent surgery last May to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Although he’s yet to resume a full throwing program, there is optimism that he will be fully ready for Opening Day.

So add Minor to a group including Cliff Lee and Henderson Alvarez that could offer an MLB team a high-profile starting option for some, or all, of the 2016 season. For Minor, it’s all about recapturing his 2012-2013 form.

In those back-to-back seasons of 30 or more starts, Minor established himself as an up-and-coming lefty in the league. The 2012 season saw him post a 4.12 ERA over 179.1 innings with a clean WHIP, which rolled into his excellent 2013. Minor started in 32 games that year, crossing the 200.0 IP plateau with a 3.21 ERA and 3.5 WAR.

Next: Tuesday rumors: Jays exploring Stammen as bullpen option

The issue with starting pitchers, especially those of the Minor and Lee conversation, is that competing for a fifth spot may not seem all that appealing to them. Perhaps Lee would be more easily lured to Toronto if he’s chasing a ring on his way out, but Minor would be wisest to target a pitching-starved team in a pitcher’s ball park to help re-establish his value. Toronto’s rotation isn’t great, but I assure you there are staffs worse off than this one. His 1.1 HR/9 may not play up well in the Rogers Centre coming off a shoulder surgery, either.

Regardless, we’ve fielded a great deal of questions on these starting options. With the Blue Jays reported to still be involved in that market, these names, like many of the non-tendered free agents we’ve just discussed, do sit closer to the price level Toronto appears to be shopping at.