The Toronto Blue Jays next few moves may be the most critical of the offseason as they attempt to shore up the rotation during the final leg of free agency. The impressive signings and bolstering of position players could be undone if they sputter to the finish line and cheap out on starting pitching.
The additions of George Springer and Marcus Semien have catapulted the Blue Jays offensive attack to one of the most feared in the league. However, the starting rotation remains something to be desired and is nowhere near equipped for the rigors of the always tough American League East.
In recent memory, most successful teams that make deep postseason runs are stacked with household names in their rotation. As it currently stands, the likes of Hyun Jin Ryu, Nate Pearson, Tanner Roark, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz are unfortunately not going to get it done on the bump. The trio of Roark, Ray and Matz have a propensity to surrender big flies that leave the ballpark with a jet stream.
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Ideally, the Blue Jays require a number two starter to complement Ryu, someone like free agent James Paxton. Then they also need a middle of the rotation starter to push Roark or Matz out of the rotation a la’ Taijuan Walker.
There is no point in pinching pennies at this stage of the game, the Jays need to sign two of either Paxton, Walker or Jake Odorizzi to round out the rotation and assert themselves as legitimate postseason contenders.
With spring training just a couple of weeks away and Trevor Bauer finally off the market, the remaining free agent pitchers should be motivated make a deal. There are still talented pieces available that could drastically improve the rotation without breaking the proverbial bank.
Now is not the time to play hardball and nickel and dime on contracts, Ross Atkins needs to get it done and put a nice bow on this gifted offseason.