AL Notes: Blue Jays, Red Sox, Mariners

2 weeks ago
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The Blue Jays brought back Robbie Ray on a one-year, $ 8MM deal today, but recent history suggests they could still add more to the rotation writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Davidi notes that the Jays struck early last year in signing Chase Anderson, but that certainly didn’t slow their free agent activity. The Jays do seem to be fairly well stocked in the rotation, with Hyun Jin Ryu, Nate Pearson, and Tanner Roark more-or-less guaranteed to hold down rotation spots. Ross Stripling can also hang in the rotation, while Anthony Kay could get a look at some point, as could a whole host of arms from their Triple-A corps. The bullpen is stocked with former starters who can handle multiple innings at a time, which could allow someone like Pearson to see some time out there if he struggles to stay healthy while taking on more innings. That sort of strategy would make room for another arm or two if the Blue Jays like the price.

  • The Red Sox aren’t far enough along in their post-Mookie retooling to make a play for top shelf free agents, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be major players in free agency. With many holes to fill and few roster spots guaranteed, there is a universe in which the Red Sox bid on a number of free agents in the non-premium range. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe runs through the free agent market by position to see where the Red Sox might be shopping. Low-cost veterans for the rotation like Tyler Chatwood, Chris Archer, or Garrett Richards could be on the docket for Boston, per Abraham.
  • Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said he doesn’t expect next year to provide many starters at all who reach the 170-inning mark, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. That’s certainly an interesting marker, given that it wasn’t that long ago that 200-inning campaigns were considered the standard bearer. It’s true that the Mariners might be more conservative than most in this regard: they’re planning to field a six-man rotation in 2021. In 2019, 51 pitchers crossed the 170-inning threshold. Still, Dipoto’s projection isn’t exactly laughable – nobody registered even 100 innings in the shortened season, and it’s might be unreasonable to expect starters to jump back to pre-COVID standards.

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