15 worst Toronto Blue Jays free agent signings in franchise history

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2. RHP Tanner Roark - two years, $24M (2019-2020 offseason)

What makes the Roark contract worse than Bautista’s is the fact that he was brought aboard to help shore up a rotation of a contending club. Signed prior to the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Roark was expected to be a key part of a rotation already consisting of Hyun Jin Ryu, Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Matt Shoemaker.

Before joining the Blue Jays, Roark was a quietly solid pitcher for the Washington Nationals for the first six seasons of his career. He spent 2019 as a member of the Reds and A’s and performed decently there as well.

As a member of the Jays, he just looked lost on the mound and couldn’t find any sort of sustained success to save his life.

For the amount of money the Jays were forking over to him on this contract, he should’ve done better.

In 2020, he made 11 starts and had a dreadful 6.80 ERA and an even more dreadful 6.86 FIP and 65 ERA+. He allowed 14 home runs in just 47 innings and walked 4.3 batters per nine innings, easily the highest mark of his career.

The club was able to make it to the AL Wild Card Series without any help from Roark, but ultimately lost to the Rays in a 2-0 sweep.

In 2021, the Jays were looking to further improve on what was a successful season in 2020. The team won 91 games and saw Robbie Ray win the Cy Young Award, but Roark once again was absolutely no help.

He made just three appearances that year and was shelled on the mound once again. His 6.43 ERA and 8.17 FIP were just awful, despite the fact that it was a small sample size. In seven innings, he allowed five earned runs and surrendered three home runs.

Even though he was making $12M on the season, the Jays released him in May and he never made another appearance at the game’s highest level.