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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Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 04: Chris Tillman /

The Underrated?

Chris Tillman

The Blue Jays have reportedly checked in with Tillman and his agent, and are more than familiar with him because of his time with the Orioles in the American League East. Once considered the ace of the Orioles staff, Tillman’s star has faded considerably in recent years, especially when you look at the numbers from last season.

The right-hander finished the year 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and 24 appearances, throwing just 93 innings. So why would the Blue Jays be interested? Well, they had a front row seat when he went 56-30 from 2013-2016, and when he had an ERA under 4.00 in three of those seasons.

He’ll look to post a strong bounce back year in hopes of re-establishing his value on the market, and as such a one year “pillow contract” would probably make the most sense. If you were counting on him to front the rotation you would be in serious trouble, but as a #5 starter he could work out to be a bargain if he can regain his form.

Andrew Cashner

The 31 year old likely has a little more value than some of the other names on this list, but that doesn’t mean he has any more teams lining up to sign him.

The big righty went 11-11 last year with a 3.40 ERA across 28 starts for the Texas Rangers, quietly putting together a nice season in Arlington. He had shown tremendous promise early in his career before struggling through 2015-16, and then eventually bouncing back last year.

Cashner likely profiles as better than a #5 starter, but in this market he may take the best offer put in front of him. If the Blue Jays want more of a needle mover and don’t want to pay for the likes of Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb, or Lynn, Cashner might be the next best thing.