Blue Jays Making Moves

Image via Global News

Ryu, Yamaguchi, Roark, Anderson and Shaw add veteran help to the young Jays.

The Toronto Blue Jays made a splash this offseason, acquiring the NL ERA title holder Hyun-jin Ryu. Signed to a 4-year, $80 million contract, the Blue Jays have their ace. Ryu not only brings talent but experience to the young team. Barring any injuries, Ryu is poised to take on the AL East, and teach the young hurlers coming up in the minors how to be a major league pitcher.

In addition to Ryu, the Blue Jays traded for right handed pitcher Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers, signed right handed pitcher Tanner Roark to a 2-year, $24 million deal, and right handed pitcher from the Yomuri Giants Shun Yamaguchi to a 2-year $6.35 million deal. On the offensive side, they signed 29-year old Travis Shaw to a one-year $4 million contract.

Through 139 innings pitched, Chase Anderson posted an ERA of 4.21 and a WHIP of 1.266. He’s posted an ERA of 3.94 and a WHIP of 1.261 through his career. His role will most likely be a three or four guy.

Through 165 1/3 innings, Tanner Roark posted an ERA of 4.35 and a WHIP of 1.397. Career-wise however, he posts a 3.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.237. A middle of the rotation guy, he is a lock as the Blue Jays second or third starter.

Right handed pitcher Shun Yamaguchi posts a career 3.73 ERA with a 1.243 WHIP through 1093 1/3 innings pitched in Nippon Professional Baseball. Yamaguchi is considered either a 5-starter or a bullpen arm for the beginning of the season.

A surprising signing for the Blue Jays was third basemen Travis Shaw. Shaw’s 2019 season was disastrous, posting a batting average of .157, an On-Base Percentage of .281, and an OPS of only .551, while only slugging seven home runs in 230 plate appearances.

Young Hurlers Get Time to Develop

These additions provide more veteran help to the young core, allowing the young pitchers time to develop in the minor leagues. T.J. Zeuch, who was called up in September, will most likely be starting the year back in Triple-A Buffalo. Through 22 2/3 innings he posted a 4.76 ERA with 20 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.456.

Anthony Kay, acquired in the Stroman deal, will also most likely begin the year in Triple-A. He showed why he is considered a back end of the rotation starter, posting a 5.79 ERA and a WHIP of 1.429 in only 14 innings pitched. With this, he will most likely be starting back in Triple-A.

This Ryu signing is a high risk, high reward as injuries have plagued Ryu’s career. He had neck problems last year which put him on the 10 day IL, and the previous year he went on the 60 day IL with a left groin strain.

The reward however, is a pitcher who can eat up innings and lead the young core. With the arrival of Nate Pearson nearing, Hyun-Jin Ryu is a great pickup for a team looking for an ace.

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