Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Three free agent pitchers to stay away from this offseason

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 29: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks as new manager Charlie Montoyo looks on during his introduction on October 29, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 29: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks as new manager Charlie Montoyo looks on during his introduction on October 29, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 01: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Jon Gray – Starting Pitcher

Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2013, Jon Gray has spent his entire career at the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. Through seven seasons, Gray has thrown to a 4.59 ERA with 849 strikeouts, 280 walks, and a 1.338 WHIP through 151 starts and 829.1 innings. His 2021 season was modest, pitching to a 4.59 ERA with 157 strikeouts through 29 starts and finishing with an 8.5 H/9 rate.

Playing at Coors Field is going to impact his numbers but even when he was on the road, Gray still got hit around, posting a career 4.65 ERA through 412.2 innings on the road. He actually has better numbers pitching at home, a 4.54 ERA through 416.2 innings, with better stats in regards to opponent’s batting average, OBS, SLG, and OPS when pitching in Colorado. Throw in that Gray has only pitched more than 150+ innings only three times in the past seven campaigns due to injury and being sent back to AAA due to performance, and the right-hander may be one pitcher that the Blue Jays should look to pass on.

Gray has already rejected a contract extension from the Rockies, looking for a multi-year deal that is sitting around the $10 million mark per season. This might make sense given his past history but there would be a considerable gamble to signing Gray, considering the “Coors Field” argument cannot be used as his away stats are actually worse than when he pitched at home.

The reason he ends up on this list more has to do with the fact that the Blue Jays should be looking to acquire players with a more established track record, considering the last time the club took a chance on a pitcher with alright stats was Tanner Roark, and we all know how that plan fared. Gray has also been on the IL four times in the past three seasons and just cannot seem to stay healthy, which is another reason to put him into the “no” column.

Unless he is willing to take a deal below $5 million and the Jays are ok with possibly moving him to the bullpen, Jon Gray is one pitcher the club should avoid looking at.

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