Blue Jays: Bargains to be had at the back end of the rotation

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 01: Jason Vargas
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 01: Jason Vargas /
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The Blue Jays still have one spot in their rotation up for grabs, and with the amount of veterans still looking for a contract, there should be a match to be had somewhere.

Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have checked off a lot of boxes this offseason, but they could still stand to reinforce their pitching staff, likely both in the rotation and in the bullpen. We’ve heard speculation for much of the offseason that they would like to add another arm to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez, and the rest of their in house candidates.

As the offseason has played out and we’re down to the final few weeks before pitchers and catchers report, you have to think that a few bargain contracts are about to get signed, and the Blue Jays could look really wise for their patience in addressing the area. The fact of the matter is, if you’re looking for someone who could fill in the back of the rotation, there are still several serviceable options available.

Between Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta there are a couple ace-level types, and another tier that includes the likes of Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. I thought about including Jeremy Hellickson in this article as well, but I still think he’ll get at least two years, although that’s becoming less certain in this market. I could make an argument for why the Blue Jays could or should be in on these four, but for the purposes of this article I’m looking at a cheaper tier of free agent, and one that likely wouldn’t require multiple years of control. For what it’s worth, I think the Blue Jays should seriously pursue Lynn or Cobb, but it takes two parties to come together and they’ll need back up plans whether they’re interested or not.

So what’s still out there? As I said, quite a few options.