Toronto Blue Jays News

Three free agent relievers the Blue Jays should consider signing

Oct 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) celebrates after defeating the Atlanta Braves in game three of the 2021 NLCS at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) celebrates after defeating the Atlanta Braves in game three of the 2021 NLCS at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Blue Jays
Aug 21, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Collin McHugh (31) (right) throws a pitch in the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Collin McHugh

In my opinion, the best reliever in this free-agent class who is still available is Collin McHugh. The 34-year-old has experience as a starter, a middle innings guy, and a late-inning reliever and has done well in all three roles.

McHugh had an excellent six-year run in Houston where he transitioned from a starter to a really useful and reliable reliever. After opting out of the 2020 season, McHugh pitched with the Rays in 2021 and had his best year yet.

He went 6-1 with a 1.55 ERA in 37 appearances. He allowed just 6.8 H/9, 1.7 BB/9, and struck out 10.4 K/9. As a former starter, McHugh was relied upon to go multiple innings in a lot of his appearances and even served as an opener seven times. He threw 64 innings in his 37 appearances, pitching in a variety of different roles.

If the Blue Jays were to sign McHugh, I’d want him in a similar role. If they don’t sign a fifth starter he can serve as an opener if needed. He can serve as a long man if a starter has to get pulled early. He can also serve as a late-game bridge to a guy like Romano or even Jansen.

Next. Blue Jays should be willing to trade a top prospect or two. dark

McHugh can be relied upon to get both righties and lefties out. Lefties slashed just .163/.230/.213 allowing no home runs in 80 at-bats. He can get any hitter out in any spot anytime.

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