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Blue Jays: Why the Interest in Jake Odorizzi?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 26: Jake Odorizzi #12 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 26, 2019 at the Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 6-4. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 26: Jake Odorizzi #12 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 26, 2019 at the Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 6-4. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays, according to Buster Olney have shown some interest in acquiring veteran starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to add some much-needed quality experience.

It has been speculated, as well as commented by Power Agent Scott Boras that the Blue Jays are prepared to be one of the biggest players in the free-agent market and Jake Odorizzi could be a big impact arm in the rotation.  Entering this offseason, arguably the team’s weakest part of the team is the starting pitching as Hyun Jin Ryu and Nate Pearson appear to be the only pitchers who are slotted into the rotation.

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If the Blue Jays could sign Odorizzi they would be bringing in a right-handed pitcher who will be 31-years old at the start of the season and coming off an injury-filled 2020 COVID season. Odorizzi started the season on the injured reserve list with soreness to his ribs and didn’t make his season debut until early August.  Two starts later, Odorizzi took a 103 mph line drive to his chest and missed nearly a month with soreness. He would make one more start in late September, however, it would be cut short due to a blister. By the time the season was over, Odorizzi had pitched in just four games and 13.2 innings.

What the Jays would be looking for is a healthy middle of the rotation pitcher more in line with his 2019 numbers that saw him pitch in the All-Star Game and post a 15-7 record with the Minnesota Twins. Odorizzi has averaged 165 innings per year over the previous six seasons, which is something the team would need to rely on as the 2020 Blue Jays rotation was unable to pitch deep into games. He is also known as more of a strikeout pitcher as he has averaged almost nine strikeouts per nine innings throughout his career, which is another area the rotation lacked this past season.

MLB Trade Rumors projected at the start of the offseason that Odorizzi would sign with the Blue Jays on a three-year deal worth $39 million. This is a contract I would be in favour of, even with his 2020 campaign being destroyed by injury. During Odorizzi’s nine-year MLB career, he has yet to miss any time due to arm soreness.

Next. Blue Jays Interest in J.T. Realmuto. dark

If the Blue Jays could sign Odorizzi to a three-year deal, they could be landing a pitcher that could slot into the middle to the upper end of the rotation in 2021 and in the last two seasons could fill into the back of the rotation.

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