Blue Jays: Time to flex some financial muscle to fill out the bullpen

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 06: Manager Charlie Montoyo #25 removes starting pitcher Thomas Pannone #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 06, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 06: Manager Charlie Montoyo #25 removes starting pitcher Thomas Pannone #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 06, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 27: Jake McGee #51 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 27, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Colorado 3-1. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 27: Jake McGee #51 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 27, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Colorado 3-1. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Jake McGee

The Colorado Rockies look to be at a crossroads. They have some large position player contracts in Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon as well as an expensive bullpen that just hasn’t worked out as expected. They were a playoff team as recently as 2018 but are coming off a lackluster 2019 record of 71-91 and 35 games back of the Dodgers for the NL West Division. With payroll near an all-time high are the Rockies heading for a retool/ rebuild? Would the Jays be wise to check in on southpaw Jake McGee?

Contract: Jake McGee signed a 3 year 27 million dollar contract with the Colorado Rockies for 2018-2020. The contract also comes with a vesting option for 2021 for an additional 9 million and there is a 1 million trade assignment bonus which would obviously be triggered if McGee is traded. So the Jays would basically be into the contract for 9.5 million for 2020, 1 million for the trade bonus and possibly (but not overly likely) another 9 million for 2021. So basically, in a nutshell, 10.5 million for a lefty reliever with high leverage experience.

Analysis: Many avid Blue Jays fans will remember McGee from his time in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Ray’s. McGee was coming off of 2 quality seasons with the Ray’s before being traded to the Rockies for the 2016 season. McGee’s time in Colorado hasn’t really been what the Rockies were dreaming on. I’m going to suggest that McGee could provide a great deal of value to the Jays BP.

If you look closer at McGee’s home and away splits you can see some alarming trends. Let’s just say McGee should never be pitching at Coor’s Field. For the 4 seasons that McGee has pitched in Colorado, he has managed to post a home ERA of 6.38, 4.73, 7.56 and 5.95. That is compared to his away ERA of 2.91, 2.64, 5.47, and 2.91.

McGee has been utilized fairly equally at about 95 innings each (home vs away) over those 4 seasons. If we look even further back to McGee’s time in Tampa we don’t see the drastic home vs away discrepancy. McGee could be the lefty reliever that the Blue Jays bullpen needs.

Trade: Blue Jays get LHRP Jake McGee, RHP Riley Pint, OF Sam Hilliard
Rockies get C Hagen Danner

Next. Blue Jays: Grichuk pulls no punches on sign-stealing. dark

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