Hi, I thought I'd put together an overview of Jays pitching staff going into the offseason. 31 Jays current pitchers that figure to be in contention for roster spots going into the next season or can serve as trade fodder.
With the offseason approaching the Jays will have some tough choices to make regarding their pitching. Here is the summary of Jays pitchers with the organization going into the next season. The stats are from Fangraphs and they try to give the most representative pitching sample from this season. Starters are split into groups of five followed by three guys whose status is unclear, MCGuire, Romero and McGowan, who may end up in the bullpen instead. Relievers are split into two groups of seven followed by four guys who are interesting. Three of them profile as AAAA players (Carreno, Beck, Crawford) and Farina who is doing well after his surgery/suspension and might do enough next year to earn a call-up.
Blue Jays look to have starting depth, but lack quality. With Drabek and Hutchison returning from injury and Nolin and Stroman set to advance Bisons rotation looks set for next year. Ideally, these four should stay in Buffalo until September. Besides the youngsters, Happ, Rogers and Redmond give the club three #5 options, ideally with one being the #5, one in the pen as long relief and one completing the Bisons rotation. These three have very little trade value at this point. Chad Jenkins can also serve as an emergency starter.
This is an area of strength for the club. They have five relievers with substantial trade value, Janssen, Santos, Delabar, Cecil and Loup. All are affordable, coming of good seasons. My expectation is that two, maybe even three of them will be dealt before the start of the season to acquire position player(s). Jays are deep behind these five, Luis Perez, McGowan and Jeffress (if he can keep control) should be capable replacements. After that Juan Perez is an unknown quantity coming off injury, Neil Wagner is decent, but a definite step down and John Stilson has potential. Webber and Storey are there just to illustrate the gap between the majors and the minors, as both posted great AAA numbers but failed to make much impact. One of Happ, Rogers and Redmond, and Jenkins are potential long men. Alan Farina could be the wild card here, before his injury and suspension he's been very successful and I always liked his strikeout numbers.
Expect AA to deal a couple of his top relievers, either to plug the 2B or C or to acquire some assets. Packaging them with an OF or a prospect is a possibility, but those packages are not juicy enough to net a quality starter. Starting rotation is short one pitcher and my feeling is that AA breaks with tradition and brings in a free agent acquisition. Other than Happ and Buehrle, Jays starters had relatively high HR/FB ratio, even after accounting for the park factor. Look for AA to avoid pitchers that are prone to home runs (Bronson Arroyo was mentioned on a certain site) and chase someone like Ricky Nolasco. Other than Nolasco, there is not much quality pitching out there, especially that would be a step up from the Jays current rotation. The only way a starting pitcher is acquired by trade is to package Aaron Sanchez plus lesser parts, which, in case of failure, would mean the end of AA reign. Other prospects are much less valuable. Some, like Nolin, don't profile well and others, like Osuna are further away and/or are coming off injury.
What should AA do?
Trade Sanchez + Rasmus/Gose + lesser prospects for James Shields. $12M for 2014, free agent afterwards and KC can use a CF like Rasmus with Dyson sporting a 0.650 (2012) and 0.692 (2013) OPS last two seasons. Sanchez playing in the AFL is a good trade showcase for him, as the competition level is higher than he previously faced. Trade two of Janssen, Delabar and Cecil to acquire 2B or C and plug the other through free agency. Win the WS.