JFtC presents a series that asks the reader to think about multiple Blue Jays situations chose what you’d rather. This time, it’s all about pitching
The Toronto Blue Jays have made some moves and they’ve created a buzz around the team that has been missing for a few years. With the addition of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark the rotation looks to be in much better shape than it was last season. There’s still work to be done to address the bullpen, but Anthony Bass, Shun Yamaguchi and even A.J. Cole could help the team improve in the win column.
But, let’s see what you’d rather…
#1– Would you rather move Trent Thornton to the bullpen?
We know that Thornton has had issues lasting deep into games. Would it make sense to move him to the bullpen to get the most out of the few innings for which he’s good? He put up 1.9 fWAR in 2019, but is projected to see just 13 starts next season. Obviously, the pitching depth the Blue Jays have will take starts away from him, but maybe that is for the best since he’s more effective the fewer times he sees a lineup.
Or, would you like to see Thornton put in Buffalo’s rotation to stay stretched out as a starter, work on making improvements and waiting for the inevitable injury to occur? Remember, the Blue Jays have improved their rotation and its depth, but there is no such thing as having enough pitching. So, moving Thornton to the bullpen would interfere with that depth. He would need time to stretch out should he be called upon to start, so it might make more sense to keep him as a starter.
#2– Would you rather the Blue Jays be aggressive on adding to their bullpen?
One way to ensure more wins in 2020 is to shift the attention to the bullpen in a serious way. The rotation has had some work done, but that only goes so far and then a bullpen will be taking over. Right now, Ken Giles is the closer and after that, there very well could be more question marks than not. In fact, as of right now, the bullpen looks to be made up of a number of guys who could not cut it as starters.
So, do you want to see the Blue Jays really focus energy (and resources) to improve the arms in the bullpen? They could go the free agent route and target some of the bigger names, or they could look to trade for effective help. Adding pieces this way is bound to cost quite a bit as relievers are making more and more each year and are therefore more coveted when teams have control over them. But, at least the Blue Jays would be getting proven talent.
Or, do you want to see the Blue Jays operate in a similar fashion to how they have in the past? We know that bullpen arms can be fluid in the sense that from one year to the next, effectiveness comes and goes. It is rare to find a reliever that is consistently good year after year. For that reason, it would make sense to look at finding some cheap(ish) arms and signing them to low commitment or minor league deals in the hopes that you strike gold. This is less of a guarantee, but it would be cheaper, which leaves resources to address other needs like CF. We should also mention this methodology has allowed Toronto to turn relievers into rather nice prospect capital at the Trade Deadline.
#3– Would you rather the Blue Jays trade for Price or not?
We know that there is some kind of connection between the Boston Red Sox and the Blue Jays about a trade for David Price. How far these talks have gone, or will go, is anyone’s guess at this point, but it does bring up some interesting food for thought.
Would you like to see Toronto take on the $96M still owed to Price over the next few years? Taking on the money might allow them to give up much less in a trade, or it could even allow them to get more from Boston. Whether that piece is Jackie Bradley Jr.or Andrew Benintendi, who knows, but it would certainly help the Blue Jays that much more. Of course, Boston may not want to go that route and lose that much talent, so they would want something else in return. The details could play out in a number of different ways, but the question remains. Do you want David Price back?
Is there that much of a need that the Blue Jays have to take on that much money? Would trading for Price tap into prospect capital to the point that it would hurt? Would trading for Price end up blocking the path forward for the likes of T.J. Zeuch, Nate Pearson et al? It’s funny how we lament lack of pitching depth and now we are considering that adding Price would be too much depth. Or, maybe it’s the wrong kid of depth.
There is no doubt that he would be a positive influence on young pitchers, a great clubhouse guy and a name that puts butts in seats. The question is whether David Price is needed.
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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.