The Blue Jays found one more reliever to add to their stable, signing Seung-hwan Oh on Sunday night. His previous deal with the Rangers had fallen apart.
The Blue Jays are taking a gamble on a veteran right-hander, and chances are it’s a worthwhile gamble. I only say it’s a gamble because Seung-hwan Oh already had a deal in place with the Texas Rangers earlier this offseason, except that it fell apart after concerns after his physical had been completed.
Clearly the Blue Jays aren’t worried about the issue as much as the Rangers were, and that gamble could pay off in a big way. The deal was first reported by Robert Murray of FanRagSports on Twitter, and as of this writing the Blue Jays have yet to officially comment.
The “Final Boss” has a fair amount of upside, despite the fact that he struggled last year while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals. He finished the year with a 4.01 ERA in 62 appearances, compiling a -0.1 WAR while picking up 20 saves.
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It was the 2016 season that should have Blue Jays fans excited about the addition, even if it’s unlikely we’ll see that version of him again. That season he pitched to 1.92 ERA in 76 appearances, throwing 79.2 frames and taking over the closer’s job while picking up 19 saves. Unfortunately he couldn’t find the same form last year, but there’s still a solid chance he’ll provide value to the Blue Jays bullpen, assuming he can stay healthy.
Our own Hayden Godfrey actually looked at the possibility of adding Oh after his deal with the Rangers fell apart, and the fit makes some sense for both parties. Oh will have a chance to join a late inning group that includes Roberto Osuna, Ryan Tepera, and Danny Barnes, and also brings some extra experience in the event that Osuna needs a breather at some point in the upcoming campaign.
Assuming the deal goes through, Oh is the type of veteran addition that the Ross Atkins likely had his eye open for. Now that the spring training schedule has opened, Oh is likely happy to have a home for the 2018 season as well.
Hopefully it works out beautifully for both sides.
*Update– According to a tweet from Ben Nicholson-Smith, the contract is for two million dollars, and includes a vesting option for the 2019 season. Assuming he can pass his physical, the Blue Jays may have landed a reliever with closing experience for the next two seasons. If he doesn’t perform or can’t stay healthy, it’s a one season gamble. Sounds more than worthwhile to me at two million.