Blue Jays: Starting Rotation Depth Chart ahead of Free Agency

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 30: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during Game Two of the American League Wild Card Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 30, 2020 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 30: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during Game Two of the American League Wild Card Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 30, 2020 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 27: Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a visit to the mound to discuss strategy with Bo Bichette #11, Cavan Biggio #8 and Tanner Roark #14 during the fourth inning at Sahlen Field on September 27, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Toronto Blue Jays were playing the Baltimore Orioles on the final day of the 2020 regular season. (Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 27: Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a visit to the mound to discuss strategy with Bo Bichette #11, Cavan Biggio #8 and Tanner Roark #14 during the fourth inning at Sahlen Field on September 27, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Toronto Blue Jays were playing the Baltimore Orioles on the final day of the 2020 regular season. (Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images) /

Overpriced Veterans

Tanner Roark
Like it or not, Tanner Roark is currently penciled in as the Jays number two starter next season. Making $12 million, Roark is the second-highest-paid player on the roster and, barring a surprise move, will be in the rotation again next year. Roark is an eight-year big league vet coming off his worst season as a pro. The 33-year-old righty was labeled as an inning-eater when the Blue Jays signed him last winter and in that regard he got the job done, logging the second-most innings on the team. The results were forgettable, however, as Roark went 2-3 over 11 starts with a 6.80 ERA and a team-high 14 home runs given up.

Roark was not on the Blue Jays post-season roster and inspired little confidence from the fanbase throughout the year. However, prior to 2020, Roark was a serviceable starter for six consecutive seasons and even earned a Cy Young vote back in 2016 with the Nationals. A return to that form is unlikely, but if Roark can post something in the vicinity of his 3.83 career ERA he could still salvage his second season with Toronto. Ideally, some moves will be made this winter to push Roark down into the 4th/5th spot in the rotation, but don’t expect his contract to be on the move anytime soon.

Chase Anderson
Chase Anderson will be on the Toronto Blue Jays payroll one way or another next season. Anderson has a $9.5 million club option equipped with a $500,000 buyout and is currently the third most experienced pitcher under club control. Like Roark, Anderson had a rough year going 1-2 with an ugly 7.22 ERA over 33.2 innings of work. He made seven starts and appeared three times out of the bullpen.

Similar to Roark, Chase Anderson was acquired to log innings and subsequently suffered through his worst season in the Majors. Even if he is able to bounce back and post something closer to his career ERA of 4.06, it seems unlikely that it will be in Toronto for such a hefty price tag.

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