Blue Jays: Who will be the team’s fifth starting pitcher?

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Manager Charlie Montoyo #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays signals the bullpen to make a pitching change against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the eighth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 21, 2019 in Oakland, California. the Blue Jays won the game 5-4. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Manager Charlie Montoyo #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays signals the bullpen to make a pitching change against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the eighth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 21, 2019 in Oakland, California. the Blue Jays won the game 5-4. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 24: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers the pitch during the first inning against the Boston Red Soxin Game Two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Blue Jays have greatly improved their starting pitching depth, so much so that someone will be on the outside looking in. With a plethora of options, which pitcher will win the #5 job in the rotation?

The Blue Jays have done a major overhaul to their starting rotation so far this off-season, so much so that their work might be finished in that area of the team for now.

They started by trading Chad Spanberger to Milwaukee in exchange for Chase Anderson, and followed that up by tendering a contract to Matt Shoemaker before the arbitration deadline. Tanner Roark was their first significant free agent agreement, inking a two-year, 24 million dollar pact. Ross Atkins and company rounded things out by landing their big fish starter, getting Hyun-Jin Ryu to come north of the border on a four-year, 80 million dollar pact.

As of this writing, those are the four starting pitchers I would consider to be locks for the Blue Jays’ rotation on Opening Day, assuming they’re all healthy at that time. It’s a much better place than the pitching staff was in a month or two ago, and it should be a significant improvement from the pieced-together group they used throughout 2019.

Now that Charlie Montoyo has four veterans at his disposal in the rotation, it’ll be very interesting to see what direction the club goes with the fifth starter’s spot. There are actually several suitable options for the role, and I suspect the competition will be pretty intense when Spring Training open up. Things could get even more crowded if and when Nate Pearson makes his MLB debut in 2020, although I suspect that won’t happen until July or later, if it happens next season at all.

For now, who are the Blue Jays options for that fifth starter’s role? Let’s have a look.

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