Blue Jays: Early prediction about free agent additions
The Blue Jays will return Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada, and J.A. Happ, to the rotation next year, and will hope that Aaron Sanchez can finally stay healthy and return to make a formidable foursome in Toronto. The front office will likely want to safeguard against Sanchez having issues again, so they may choose to bring in a few options at the back end of the rotation. They’re also planning on giving Joe Biagini another extended look during spring training, so that could factor into the equation, and the depth chart.
My guess is the Blue Jays bring back a familiar face in Brett Anderson. The outspoken left-hander has been pretty solid since signing in Toronto on a MiLB deal, making seven starts and pitching to a 5.13 ERA in 33.1 innings. Those numbers don’t sound that sexy, but Anderson was actually pretty solid in his short cameo, enough so that I would bring him back at the right price. If you take away his rough outing against Kansas City (allowed eight earned runs in 1.1 IP), he only allowed 11 runs across 32 innings, a very respectable number.
The thing about Anderson is the Blue Jays will need additional depth with him as well. If they went into the rotation with both Sanchez and Anderson in their top five, there is an admitted risk of injury that makes me a little uncomfortable. However, say they start Joe Biagini in Triple A, and bring in some additional solid depth to start in Buffalo? Someone like Tom Koehler could fit that description, or maybe others like a Kris Medlen type.
Whatever the front office decides, they would be wise to go with stronger depth than they had in 2017, when we saw way too many starts from the likes of Mat Latos, Casey Lawrence, and company. Anderson shouldn’t cost any more than he did in 2017 (3.5 million on one year for the Cubs), and I think he could be a worthwhile option, even if he’s a gamble with his injury history. If they’re willing to spend more on the position, even better, but Anderson would be a solid, low-cost option.