As of right now, the Blue Jays enter next season with three starters in the rotation and two spots that will need to be filled. Hyun Jin Ryu, Jose Berrios, and Alek Manoah will be in the starting five and with there being no guarantee Robbie Ray or Steven Matz return next season, the Jays will need to figure out who will take the last two spots.
They have a few internal options to consider if they are looking to save some money but if they want to try and improve upon this past season and make the playoffs, they made need to pony up some capital and look outside the organization for veteran talent.
That being said, there are a few pitchers hitting the open market who could draw the interest of the Blue Jays front office, some more established than others. There are also a few names on the free-agent board who come with some considerable risk, whether it be injury or inconsistency, that could be worth the potential gamble if the club feels like that player could be a fit with the club but also overcome whatever held them back and produce within the rotation. Some risks don’t pan out like the Kirby Yates deal while others can generate some serious rewards, like the one-year deal for Ray where he turned himself from a back-end rotation piece to a Cy-Young candidate in one season.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect any free agent to come in and produce like Ray did this past season, but after the numerous bullpen games and the rotation of fringe starters the club through in for a start or two when the injury bug came crawling, having a veteran starter in the role could have been a difference-maker.
That being said, here are three pitchers the Blue Jays should consider looking into this offseason but come with some considerable risk.