According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays are showing legitimate interest on free-agent pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly met with Jake Odorizzi‘s representatives to gauge what the hurler will be seeking in free agency. It is safe to assume that Odorizzi will decline the qualifying offer tabled by the Minnesota Twins.
The 29-year old went 15-7 with a 3.51 earned run average in 30 starts for the Twins last season. Odorizzi has been one of the most durable starters in the majors over the past six seasons, the right-hander has made 182 starts and no less than 28 starts in each of those campaigns.
The former first-round selection of the Brewers sports a career 62-55 record with a tidy 3.88 ERA with an 8.6 strikeout per nine ratio and a 13.4 WAR in 191 games.
Odorizzi will have draft pick compensation attached to him should the Blue Jays opt to sign the free agent. The Jays have a protected first-round selection but would have to forfeit their second-highest draft pick and lose 500K from their International signing bonus pool should they choose to sign Odorizzi.
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The pitcher is in for a big-time raise after earning $9.5 million last season in what will be his first taste on the open market.
The Blue Jays desperately need to shore up the front of their rotation for 2020 and Odorizzi would definitely fit the bill instantly becoming their new ace. Manager Charlie Montoyo would be very familiar with Odorizzi from his time with Tampa Bay organization so that may be a contributing factor to the team’s alleged pursuit of the hurler.
Odorizzi pitched for the Rays for five seasons, two of which Montoya was the bench coach for in 2016-17. Furthermore, Odorizzi made 22 starts for the Durham Bulls in 2013, a team managed by Montoya.
The hot stove is just getting warmed up but it is refreshing to see that the Blue Jays appear like they will be aggressive in their quest to make the team better this offseason.