Top 5 options to fill out the Blue Jays starting Rotation
Zach Davies: Free Agent
Coming off of great 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Brewers and Padres, Zach Davies had high expectations entering 2021. Unfortunately, it became a nightmare year for the right-hander, as he finished with a 5.78 ERA over 148 innings, and issued the most walks in the National League. Similar to Kikuchi, Davies will most likely be looking for a one-year prove-it deal in a similar price range, but unlike Kikuchi, Davies has a longer proven track record of MLB success.
From 2019 to 2020 Davies had an ERA of 3.30 over 229 innings, which was 9th best amongst National Leagues starters with at least 200 innings pitched. His biggest problem in 2021 was walks, but given what Pete Walker was able to do for Robbie Ray’s control (another NL pitcher who walked a lot of batters), it’s hard to think of a better place for Davies to get back on track.
Davies’ statcast metrics were horrendous this past year and while I do think that’s reason for concern, his past performance should leave plenty of room for optimism. He’s never been a big strikeout pitcher, mostly pitching to contact, which is something the Jays have shown they’ve been able to work with. He has a similar repertoire to Hyun-Jin Ryu, so working with him could also help with a bounce back. It would be foolish of the Blue Jays to just look at the positives when it comes to Davies, because there are some serious concerns, but he could be an interesting gamble for the Jays to take.