Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Three under the radar starting pitching trade options to consider

Jul 11, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jul 11, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Merrill Kelly

Merrill Kelly has been a staple in the Arizona Diamondbacks rotation for a number of years now. He’s not an ace but is a very capable back-end starter who just so happens to be having his best season.

Kelly has gone 9-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 19 starts. He’s averaged 5.78 innings per start, much improved from the 4.06 Kikuchi has been giving Toronto. He’s not a huge strikeout guy as he only averages 7.6 K/9, but he excels at keeping the ball in the ballpark as he’s allowed just seven home runs in 110.1 innings pitched (0.6 HR/9).

Part of what makes Kelly appealing to me is the fact that he has three more years of team control. He’s set to make $8 million dollars in 2023 and 2024 with a club option for $7 million dollars in 2025. With Ryu likely out for next season, Kelly can slot in the rotation at least for next season as well on a solid contract.

The 33-year-old can give the Jays innings, which is something they desperately need especially with the state of the bullpen right now. Not only will he give innings, but they’d also be quality innings. The price won’t be very high, and the value is there.

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