Toronto Blue Jays: Offseason Report Card

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America

Starting Rotation

Notable Additions: Marco Estrada (re-signed), J.A. Happ, Jesse Chavez

Notable Departures: David Price, Mark Buehrle

When they acquired lefty ace David Price at the deadline, Toronto’s season was turned around. However, Price would ultimately be a rental, as the former Cy Young winner packed up and left for the division rival Red Sox. The loss of Price stings, but the Blue Jays have his replacement on hand already, and that would be 24-year-old Marcus Stroman. Stroman will be taking on the role of staff ace, and Marco Estrada was retained in order to keep the rotation solid. J.A. Happ was also brought in when depth became a question mark following Mark Buehrle’s retirement. Happ was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, and it seems the lefty discovered something under Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage, as Happ went 7-2 with a 2.19 ERA for the Pirates. Bringing back Estrada was key, and Happ could be a great under-the-radar move for Toronto. The addition of Jesse Chavez (4.18 ERA in Oakland in 2015) creates more depth and provides a reliable spot starter.

Grade: B+

One Response

  1. Brent Koroll

    Fairly good articles with some errors. “When they acquired lefty ace David Price at the deadline, Toronto’s season was turned around”. Although David Price was a nice addition, greatly loved by the fans, he was not the reason for the second half turn around. The real reason for the turn around was trading away Jose Reyes who was the worst fielding SS in the AL the last couple of seasons. This solidified the Jays infield defense and defense down the middle as Tulowiski is a big improvement on Reyes. Every Jays pitcher, except for Buerle had better stats in the second half as Buerle’s shoulder didn’t respond to a cortisone shot. Even Price’s stats improved coming to Toronto and Detroit’s park was a little more pitcher friendly than Rogers center last year (26 out of 30 parks as opposed to 24).
    Secondly, Toronto has some ideal options to lead off and the best choice is Ryan Goins. Goins had a bad year in 2014 as Seitzer’s hitting ideology didn’t meld well with Goins. Goins saw improvement with Brooks Jacoby and his .274 BA, .361 OBP, .397 slugging and .748 OPS in the second half and very good base running tendencies makes him a very good option as the lead off hitter. That he has received tutelage on hitting from Tewksbary this past winter (he previously worked with Donaldson and Colabello to improve their hitting) could improve Goins even more as will the opportunity in the first 8 weeks to take the 2nd base job from Devon Travis. I agree with the rest of the article and I believe that Toronto’s terrific infield defense and defense down the middle will get the maximum out of Toronto’s pitching staff.

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