The Toronto Blue Jays essentially elected to trade for veteran pitcher Clayton Richard rather than promote Jordan Romano from their internal ranks in a season earmarked for a rebuild, am I missing something here?
By no means I am suggesting that Romano was projected to a front of the rotation hurler, however, he does have the makings to be a serviceable MLB arm. Last season, Romano went 12-8 with a 4.11 earned run average 26 starts (25 with New Hampshire and 1 with Buffalo).
The Blue Jays then obtained Clayton Richard from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Canadian minor leaguer Connor Panas. Richard essentially profiles as a serviceable fifth starter who sported a 5.33 earned run average in 27 starts last season in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.
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So rather than protect Romano, the Jays are willing to pay half of the remaining $3 million on Richard’s contract he inked while a member of the Padres. Richard is a decade older than Romano, in an offseason where the Blue Jays were forging ahead with the youth movement.
Romano is off to a great start in Texas this spring allowing one hit over three shutout innings of work. So to recap, the Jays opted to let the 25-year-old Canadian starter go unprotected while spending more money while losing Panas for an uninspiring 35-year old arm. Hmmmmmm.
Coupled with the team also losing reliever Travis Bergen in the Rule 5 draft to the San Francisco Giants after an impressive 2018 campaign. Bergen has also made three scoreless appearances while fanning three in his first taste of the preseason with his new team. Neither hurlers are likely to be returned to the Jays.
It is impossible to roadmap the entire offseason or predict how things will play out come March but the Blue Jays definitely errored in not protecting Romano. Especially seeing he could provide an equal or better stat line than Richard this season.