Blue Jays: 2017 Free Agent Bullpen Targets To Consider
By Jason Lee
Jake McGee (31 years old)
2017 Salary: 5.9 million dollars
2017 Stats: 3.61 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 57.1 IP
Avg Fastball Velocity: 95.3 mph
Jake McGee is one of the top left-handed options in this year’s free agency class. McGee has a big fastball and also has American League experience, as he pitched for the Rays from 2010-2015. His overall numbers depict a mid-level reliever, but also remember that he was pitching a large number of games in the very hitter-friendly Coors Field. A switch to the AL could improve McGee’s numbers significantly and he would be a great addition for the Blue Jays as a left-handed setup man for Roberto Osuna.
Tony Watson (32 years old)
2017 Salary: 5.6 million dollars
2017 Stats: 3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 66.2 IP
Avg Fastball Velocity: 93.8 mph
On paper, Tony Watson is another name that the Blue Jays should pursue. He is an absolute workhorse in the pen and has been one of the better left-handed relievers in all of baseball for the past few years. However, there are significant red flags with Tony Watson.
Firstly, Watson will likely command a big contract in terms of both money and years. He is already 32 and it may not be wise for the Blue Jays to add a declining pitcher with a big contract to the team. Furthermore, Watson’s peripheral numbers should bring significant concern. His K/9 (7.16) and BB/9 (2.70) are not elite and Watson gives up his fair share of home runs (1.22 HR/9). The Blue Jays would have to pay the price of a great reliever but may end up getting an average one on the decline.
Zach Duke (35 years old)
2017 Salary: 5.5 million dollars
2017 Stats: 3.93 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 18.1 IP
Avg Fastball Velocity: 88.1 mph
Zach Duke could be a nice bargain buy for the Blue Jays this offseason. He is coming off a short season because he underwent Tommy John surgery in October of 2016. However, Duke was an elite reliever from 2014-2016 (2.74 ERA, 180.1 IP). Duke will likely not command the same amount of money or years as Tony Watson or Jake McGee, but he could produce better numbers at a far more affordable price.