SP Michael Wacha
Perhaps one of the more underrated, under-the-radar pitchers in the past two seasons in the league is veteran starting pitcher Michael Wacha. A former first round pick by the Cardinals from the 2012 MLB Draft, Wacha had a strong start to his career in his first three seasons. It was still early in his career, but he was a main cog in helping the Cardinals reach the World Series in just his rookie season in 2013, while becoming the NLCS MVP in the process.
However, after becoming a first-time All-Star in 2015, Wacha was unable to carry on his early success into his succeeding years. From there on, he regressed somewhat for the next few seasons with an ERA constantly above 4 and a WHIP above 1.3, leading to his eventual departure from the Cardinals. Unexpectedly, he has been able to turn his fortunes around in his past two seasons to become one of the top and most reliable pitchers in MLB in the process. For the past two years with the Red Sox and San Diego Padres, Wacha posted a dominant 25-6 winning record to go along with a 3.27 ERA, 127 ERA+, 1.14 WHIP, with 228 strikeouts in 261.2 innings pitched in 47 starts.
Despite that success, he only signed with the Kansas City Royals for a two-year deal worth $32M this offseason. At just the ripe age of 32, he should remain an effective pitcher even as he ages since he relies mainly on a four-pitch arsenal in which his curveball, cutter and changeup are all at considerably different lower speeds compared to his fastball in the low 90s. He would have been an ideal addition to the Jays’ starting rotation and could have even battled for a front end spot at just a value price.