Prior to the 2021 season, the Blue Jays tried like heck to sign just about every free agent available. They were unsuccessful on the first few attempts but then reports had them zeroing in on George Springer. It was between them and the New York Mets and I was fearful they’d miss out again.
We know now that he signed the big deal, but had a multitude of injuries last year but still hit 22 homers in just 78 games. This season, fully healthy, Springer is as valuable as ever. He’s flashed that explosive defensive ability we’ve seen from him before and his bat is electric.
He’s hitting .282 with 12 homers and tied for a team-high with 32 RBI. Springer is in the designated hitter mix and gets the occasional day off to keep him rested for the long haul of the season. He’s a safe bet to make the team, possibly as a starter.
When the Blue Jays signed Kevin Gausman, it seemed like a logical lateral move after Robbie Ray chose to sign with the Seattle Mariners. Many thought that they were getting a similar caliber of a pitcher. Both players signed five-year contracts so we can’t completely judge this swap of sorts, but the early indications are that the Jays have the better arm.
Gausman has been dominant at times this season and has combined with Alek Manoah to form one of the better starting pitcher combos in the AL. He’s leading the league with a 1.61 FIP and a 10.43 SO/W rate.
In his last start against the Minnesota Twins, Gausman struggled a bit and was let down by his teammates too. He appeared to be labouring somewhat and looked like he was tipping his pitches. Hopefully, this is just a blip on the radar and not a trend.
So far, guys like Martin Pérez and Justin Verlander are getting more pub, but Manoah and Gausman are squarely in the Cy Young hunt, and in the conversation for All-Star game starter.