Blue Jays ink pitcher Matt Shoemaker to one-year deal
According to multiple sources, the Toronto Blue Jays have signed pitcher Matt Shoemaker to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million dollars.
Matt Shoemaker spent the previous six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, however, he made only seven starts in 2018 due to nagging shoulder strains that derailed his season. In his seven starts, Shoemaker posted a 4.94 earned run average while fanning 33 hitters in 31 innings of work.
The 32-year old sports a career 3.93 earned run average in 101 career appearances in the majors. His best season coming in 2014 when he went 16-4 with a 3.04 earned run average and finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.
Shoemaker earned $4.125 million last season but was non-tendered by the Angels at the end of November to free up a roster spot. MLB Trade Rumours had projected the hurler to earn $4.3 million in 2019.
Ross Atkins and company have slow played the free agent this offseason and they push forward with their rebuild. Shoemaker is the first free agent signing of the offseason for the Blue Jays.
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Shoemaker will join Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Ryan Borucki and Sean Reid-Foley in the Jays rotation. The right-hander could provide some upside if he can put his past injury troubles behind him as he attempts to rebuild his stock.
The Jays will still look to add MLB pitching depth to complement their starting five especially in light of the past injury concerns with Sanchez and Shoemaker. Thomas Pannone and Sam Gaviglio will in all likelihood slot in as insurance in the sixth and seventh spot on the depth chart.
Steamer Projections has Shoemaker going 5-6 with a 4.35 earned run average and a 0.9 WAR in 16 starts in 2019.
This is a nice low-risk move for the Blue Jays who have made it well known they will not be in play for any big free agents this offseason.