ESPN’s Jeff Passan is reporting that the Blue Jays are in agreement on a 5 year, 110 million dollar contract with free agent starter Kevin Gausman.
The Blue Jays were known to be in the market for a high-end starting pitcher, with many expecting that they’d have a full court press to re-sign their own free agent, the 2021 AL Cy Young award winner in Robbie Ray. However, the Blue Jays have found his replacement, assuming he signs elsewhere, as Gausman finished 6th in NL Cy Young voting in 2021, and is a legitimate top of the rotation starter in his own right.
Assuming that the deal goes through as reported the Blue Jays have a few extra wins here. First, they retain that top-end starter to pair with Jose Berrios at the top of the rotation, and will have at least five years with the pair under contract. They also have Alek Manoah coming off of his rookie season, and two more years of Hyun Jin Ryu’s services.
What’s also important is the Blue Jays won’t have to surrender a draft pick for signing Gausman. He was given the Qualifying Offer last winer when he returned to the San Francisco Giants, so they were unable to make the same offer again. It’s looking like the Blue Jays will have at least one extra pick to work with, as Marcus Semien signed with the Texas Rangers on Sunday to a huge seven-year pact. The Jays will receive compensation for losing him, and could earn the same if and when Ray signs with his next team.
It all adds up to another tidy bit of offseason work for Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro’s front office team. We’ll be sure to prove more details as they become available, but for now Passan’s report appears to be legit.
Welcome to the Blue Jays Mr. Gausman! You’re gonna love it here.