Toronto Blue Jays Hot Stove: Gavin Floyd Returns on Minor-League Pact

 

The Toronto Blue Jays are bringing back Gavin Floyd on a minor league deal, hoping he can contribute in 2017

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

While much of the Blue Jays fan base reacts to the Cleveland Indians press conference introducing ex-Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays front office snuck an old friend back into the organization today on a minor-league deal. Gavin Floyd will be returning to the Blue Jays with an invite to Spring Training and as it stands right now – a likely spot on the roster come April.

 

 

Floyd pitched well in 2016 and posted decent numbers aside from a few blow-ups. In April he posted a 1.74 ERA over 10.1 innings, recovering from a rough start and eventually posting eight strikeouts to three walks and four hits for the rest of the month. In May he battled with the long ball, giving up four dingers in just 12.2 IP, but still maintaining a K/9 over 9.00. Aside from another poor outing to start June (5 H, 3 R and a BB in 2/3 of an inning) he bounced back strong that month, allowing just one run over the next 7.0 IP before partially tearing the lat muscle in his shoulder, ending his 2016 campaign.

 

Previous Injuries

Injuries have been a huge problem for Floyd. In May 2013 he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the remainder of the season, signing with the Braves that winter. He then broke the olecranon bone (the pointy part) in his throwing elbow. He then signed with Cleveland in December of 2014, pitching only 13.1 IP for them due to more elbow complications during Spring Training. Prior to those injury-plagued seasons, though, Floyd was solid middle-to-end of the rotation starter for the White Sox, posting a 4.22 ERA over 1250 IP in seven season with the Southsiders. Floyd compiled a 175-168 record and 7.1 K/9 and was worth an impressive 15.6 fWAR from 2008-2013.

 

Gavin Floyd as a Blue Jay

Fans pining for bullpen help are likely underwhelmed by the move, but at this point in Floyd’s career (he’s about to turn 34) he’ll likely be used as emergency depth or in a role similar to 2016. That equated to about 10-15 IP per month if you look at his 2016 usage. Assuming he can produce an ERA under 4.00 with a K/9 around 9.00, that’s a solid-average arm out of the bullpen to be used in what will likely be low-leverage situations. All told, Floyd put up 0.3 fWAR in just three months last season – barely behind the numbers provided by Danny Barnes and Brett Cecil (0.4 each) and significantly better than what the team received from the likes of Drew Storen and Aaron Loup. Over a full season, which is a long shot at this point, Floyd may be more valuable than he’s received credit for.

 

While the team scours the free agent market for lefty-controlling arms, it’s worth noting that Floyd put up some stark reverse-splits in his limited 2016 season:

Right / Left AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
vs. Left 45 3 5 1 0 2 3 4 0 11 1 0 .111 .184 .267 .450
vs. Right 67 11 18 5 0 2 11 4 3 19 2 0 .269 .333 .433 .766

 

While signing Floyd as a LOOGY-type option might seem silly, he certainly has not been dominated by lefties since his 2013 Tommy John season:

Right / Left AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
vs. Left 166 16 38 4 1 4 15 18 1 39 2 0 .229 .306 .337 .644
vs. Right 203 25 51 9 0 6 24 7 6 43 5 0 .251 .294 .384 .678

Table via ESPN three-year splits.

 

Maybe there’s something there. Floyd is not the same pitcher he was before the surgery, and maybe that’s okay. Gavin Floyd – RP might be the guy the Blue Jays could utilize most in 2017. So, as they say, there’s no bad minor-league deals. He won’t be blocking the progress of any rookies banging down the door between Triple-A and Toronto and the salary to be handed over, should Floyd make the club, is minimal, yet the value associated with the signing can very easily shift in the favor of the club.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: C Stem- JFtC

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND INSTAGRAM. LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE JAYS NEST PODCAST.

 

 

 

ALSO, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO ENABLE NOTIFICATIONS IN YOUR BROWSER TO RECEIVE JAYS FROM THE COUCH CONTENT PROMPTLY

 

 

 

Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.

Roy-Z

Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.