RHP Trevor Richards
For the most part, Trevor Richards had a fine season in 2023. The right-hander filled multiple roles for the Jays, including opener for three 'starts', and continued to show the team-first attitude he has throughout his career.
Richards' season was a tale of two halves. In the first half, he was truly one of the best relief pitchers in the game, armed with a wipeout changeup that hitters wouldn't hit even if he told them it was coming. In 30 games, he had a 3.02 ERA with over 13 strikeouts per nine innings and held the opposition to just a .196 batting average.
In the second half, he struggled with injuries and when he returned from the injured list, he was never quite the same pitcher. In the end, he sported a ghastly 8.04 ERA in 26 outings in the second half. Hitters were now posting a .274 batting average off of him and he had seemingly lost his mojo.
At this point, Richards is far from a DFA candidate. His contract was picked up in arbitration for next year but he is set to be a free agent at the conclusion of next season. As of right now, he feels more like a trade candidate than an outright DFA. If teams buy into his first-half value from this past year, he may still have some value in trade talks.