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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Wild Cards

Jake Peavy

I know you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind here, but hear me out on this one. I don’t think the Blue Jays should be satisfied with Peavy as their 5th starter, or even offer him a MLB contract. However, what’s the harm in giving the former ace a MiLB deal and seeing what he’s got in camp? Also, I’m a sucker for a comeback story and I’m rooting for the guy a little bit.

He’s reportedly been working hard at a comeback and is serious about a return despite sitting out the 2017 season. He won’t turn 37 until May and found some late career success with the Giants on a repertoire that was more about movement than velocity. Maybe a year off will have done his body enough good that he could contribute at the big league level.

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Matt Garza

Speaking of veteran right handers that could be had very cheap, Matt Garza fits the bill in much the same way that Peavy might, despite having played last year. He was once a highly sought after free agent earlier in his career, but these days he hasn’t really been talked about in any circles that I’ve come across.

He spent last season with the Brewers and it wasn’t his finest performance, finishing the year 6-9 with a 4.94 ERA in 22 starts and 24 appearances. He’s been a below league average starter every season since 2014 when he was 8-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 27 starts, and it’s hard to imagine that he’ll get a guaranteed rotation job anywhere.

On a MiLB with a shot to earn a job, why not? Again, this page in particular is more about extreme flyers and not really solutions, so I’m not suggesting the Blue Jays should sign Garza and call it a day at all. If they strike out on their other targets and can add Garza on a MiLB deal to see what he’s got in camp, it doesn’t hurt to have a look. Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Ubaldo Jimenez, and maybe even former Red Sox Clay Buchholz could be in for a similar fate. The options at this level are plentiful, as most of these guys are just looking for an opportunity.

As I said earlier in the article, I truly believe the Blue Jays should take a serious run at Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb, as they should have enough remaining funds to make a reasonable offer if they so choose. However, if that doesn’t work out then they would be well advised to add some additional depth, and there are plenty of experienced starters out there. They could also use some of their outfield depth or other pieces to pursue yet another trade, but one way or another you’d have to think that Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro will add an starter before spring training gets underway.

Next: Blue Jays a fit for Melky Cabrera?