Even though pitchers and catchers reported to spring training two days ago, the Blue Jays aren’t done.
Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays are “far along” in discussions with free agent starter Mat Latos. Latos, 29, could provide welcome relief to a starting rotation lacking an obvious sixth man. Despite beginning his career as one of the most dominant starters in the majors, with a 3.41 FIP and 1.168 WHIP in 153 games (952.0 innings), Latos has fallen off a cliff since the start of the 2015 season. While his velocity has decreased slightly, Latos has spent the past two years with five teams, collecting a 4.32 FIP and 6.9 SO9, historically low for Latos.
No matter how Latos performs in 2017, this move, should it happen, would be beneficial to the quality of the team. Given Latos’s previous track record and aging body, a minor league deal is certainly a valid option.
Without giving up on any potential pitching acquisitions, the Blue Jays have had preliminary talks with and about reliever Edwin Jackson, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith, again. Jackson, a 33-year-old righty, posted a 5.89 ERA in 2016, but his 2015 numbers provide a better picture on his full potential. The major league veteran of 14 seasons had a 3.07 ERA (3.82 FIP) in 2015 while with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves, and, in general, has maintained a FIP below 4.50 in seven of the past eight seasons.
As #BlueJays explored depth starting market, they also had some preliminary talks about Edwin Jackson per source— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 15, 2017
Chad Girodo was outrighted off of the 40-man roster yesterday, while remaining at spring training as a non-roster invitee. Girodo, a week ago, was designated for assignment to make room for J.P. Howell on the 40-man. 26-years-old, Girodo made his major league debut with the Blue Jays in 2016, pitching in 14 games and 10.1 innings. As a lefty, he should pop up a few times in 2017, but his full role will be unveiled soon, as spring training commences within two weeks.
Although their official reporting date is February 17th, tomorrow, some Blue Jay position players have arrived at camp early. Josh Donaldson arrived yesterday, and, according to multiple reports, Jose Bautista arrived at camp early this morning.
Single game Blue Jay tickets go on sale today at 10 AM eastern time. Previously, tickets could only be purchased as part of flex packs. You can buy tickets here.