Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Five players to consider signing who are not tied to a qualifying offer

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Kevin Gausman #34 of the San Francisco Giants pitches in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park on October 09, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Kevin Gausman #34 of the San Francisco Giants pitches in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park on October 09, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 31: Kendall Graveman #31 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

Kendall Graveman

Another former Blue Jay draft pick, right-hander Kendall Graveman fully switched to a relief pitcher role this season and produced one of the best seasons of his career.

Traded to the Athletics in exchange for Josh Donaldson back in the 2014/2015 offseason, Graveman made five appearances for the Jays before being traded. He was a starter for most of his minor league career and continued to start until last season when the Seattle Mariners started to use him in the bullpen during the 2020 campaign.

He fully moved to the pen this past year and was outstanding, pitching to a 1.77 ERA with 61 strikeouts through 56.0 innings split between the Mariners and Astros, racking up 10 saves in the process with a 0.982 WHIP. He also pitched well during the playoffs with the Astros, appearing in nine games and crafting a 1.64 ERA with 11 strikeouts before losing to the Atlanta Braves in the World Series.

With Graveman being traded midway through the campaign he is ineligible to receive a QO and should be a big target this offseason because of that. It would be great to bring him back to the Blue Jays bullpen alongside Trevor Richards, Adam Cimber, Tim Mayza, and Jordan Romano to form a solid shutdown crew late in the game.

He should see a considerable upgrade from the $1.25 million he earned this past season and at the right price, having Graveman in the Blue Jays bullpen could be a difference-maker next year that will make fans feel confident that the relief corps can finish a game without any late drama.

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