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Blue Jays’ Anderson Acquisition Highlights Work to be Done

 

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Chase Anderson and it highlights just how much need there is in their rotation

 


The Toronto Blue Jays entered the offseason with near desperate need in their rotation. There is no way they could look to make positive gains in 2020 with the rotation they ended the season with. On Monday, they began addressing that need by acquiring righty, Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers. However, this move is just the beginning and it shows just how much work there is to be done.

 

 

The above tweet shows what the Blue Jays accomplished with this trade. They brought in a 31 year old right hander who has made more than 20 starts in each season since 2014, his first in the major leagues. He’s accumulated 7.5 fWAR since then with his best season coming in 2017 (3.4 fWAR). Fangraphs has him projected to be worth 1.1 fWAR this coming season, which would put his $8.5M salary right in the comfort zone of the Blue Jays (they value a win at around $9M).

 

Anderson will slide into a rotation that currently features Trent Thornton, Ryan Borucki and likely possibly Matt Shoemaker. Beyond that, Anthony Kay, T.J. Zeuch, Jacob Waguespack and others will look to round out the starting 5. And, that is where the point really gets hammered home: there is still a lot of work to do to form a more competitive rotation.

 

Before anyone dismisses this whole discussion by saying, “Duh, there’s still a whole offseason to go”, it is worth noting that the work ahead is not exactly straight and narrow.

 

Could Toronto look to use their ample money to pull off some more trades like the Anderson deal? If they only have to give up a minor leaguer like Chad Spanberger, let’s hope they do. The trick in this approach is to limit the amount of prospect capitol leaving the organization. Again, if future deals look like this one, we can call this a positive offseason. Any time you can add league average, reliable pitching for a prospect that likely doesn’t have a future in your organization, you jump at the deal. If you can use your available funds to acquire players other teams don’t want to pay, you have to consider it.

 

Following this, there needs to be a lot of consideration expended by this Blue Jays front office. In 2019, their starting rotation sat in 26th spot with just 40 quality starts. The following tables tell a pretty ugly story:

Pitching Role — Game-Level
Split W L W-L% ERA GS GF CG SHO IP H ER HR WHIP
as Starter 26 68 .277 5.25 162 0 1 0 711.1 772 415 110 1.487
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/4/2019.

 

Pitching Role
Split PA R H 2B HR SB BB SO SO/W BA OBP SLG OPS GDP
as Starter 3149 458 772 176 110 40 286 595 2.08 .274 .347 .465 .811 63
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/4/2019.

 

The Blue Jays’ 2019 starters were rather disappointing, and that is considering that Marcus Stroman pitched 124 innings for Toronto to the tune of a 2.96 ERA. Adding Anderson is not going to even come close to fixing this. But, it is a start.

 

The acquisition of Chase Anderson was a nice piece of work on the part of Ross Atkins. Spanberger came to the organization when they dealt Seung Hwan Oh to Colorado. So, they were able to turn Oh into Anderson. It’s a good deal in that regard. It raises the floor of the rotation, which is what the club needs.

 

However, the club has not come close to their end goal, which is a competitive starting rotation. For that to hppen, they’ll need a mix of smart deals like this one and maybe even a bit of financial risk acceptance. However they do it, one thing for sure is that when Chase Anderson improves your starting rotation as much as he does Toronto’s, you know there’s work ahead of you. Good thing there’s lots of offseason left. This should be fun.

 

 

 

 

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.