The starting pitching market is starting to dwindle a bit, and unless they’re able to re-sign Robbie Ray then the Blue Jays may have to think about Plan B or C with their starting rotation.
Obviously the idea of bringing Ray back to Toronto is still on the table, and I imagine the same would apply to Kevin Gausman, who is another front-end starter that remains available as of this writing. The rumour mill has started to heat up a fair bit though, and with the CBA expiring on Dec 2nd, don’t be surprised if there are a few more contracts hammered out before an inevitable quiet period of the offseason.
My hope is that the Blue Jays are able to re-sign Ray to give them a top-four that could rival any team in baseball. They have the freshly extended Jose Berrios in place, as well as Hyun Jin Ryu and Alek Manoah. Other rotation options could include Nate Pearson, Ross Stripling, and more, but an ace calibre arm like Ray would go a long way in helping the Blue Jays reach the postseason, which they missed by just one game in 2021.
However, it’s not hard to see that the market for starting pitching is starting to shrink, and there are still plenty of teams on the lookout for upgrades in that area. Even if Ross Atkins and company move aggressively to sign Ray or Gausman, it’s entirely possible that they could still come up short in their pursuit.
And because of that possibility, I thought I’d take a quick look at the options that could exist beyond the top two starters on the free agent market. No, I’m not going to talk about Marcus Stroman, even if he remains unsigned, but otherwise I’ll cover the top free agent pitchers still available, as well as a handful of potential arms the Blue Jays could target in a trade.