For all reasons to temper expectations, however, the Blue Jays appear to be brand talent this offseason, both in the free agent and trade markets. As we continue to hear these rumors, it’s important to keep in mind a group of players whose names have yet to come into circulation, but who may still be crucial to the club’s plans for 2021.
On December 2, the no-bid deadline will bring a new wave of players to the market. While we generally tend to think of these guys as just extra pieces, the financial hardship faced by a number of clubs due to COVID-19 should make more – and better – players available.
Here are some players who could go wild and should be of interest to the Blue Jays, whether as potential free agents next week or as commercial targets in the meantime:
Position: Starter / emergency
Statistics 2020: 8.22 MPM and 4.89 FIP in 8.2 innings, with 7.04 K / 9, 3.52 BB / 9, 1.17 HR / 9
MLBTR Projected Arbitration Salary: $ 4.5 million
Why it might fit: The former third overall pick has had a litany of injuries in recent years and is kind of a reclamation project. He was only able to appear in four games last season following his Tommy John surgery in 2019 and spent time on the injured list with pain in his left shoulder. He also had a significant shoulder problem in 2018, and his highest single-season innings total since 2016 is 120.2.
It’s the red flags that make him a non-bidding candidate for the Chicago White Sox. He’s no longer in their starting five, and moving from Rodon could free them up to nearly $ 5 million to be allocated elsewhere.
From the Blue Jays’ perspective, Rodon is someone who can come in and compete for a starting spot, while also escaping the expectations his draft set him in Chicago. He’s also far enough away from his Tommy John for him to revert to his old self. At his best, the fat southpaw has a slider with excellent horizontal movement which is good for a puff rate of around 40 percent, and a low-90 fastball with medium spin that he can locate at the top of. The area.
Rodon has an interesting floor because, if he is unable to break the rotation, he has potential in relief. He pitched the bullpen twice in 2020 and his fastball was averaging 96.2 mph and 94.2 mph on those outings. The Blue Jays aren’t long on left-handed relievers – especially if Anthony Kay starts at triple-A as expected – and Rodon could find a role in their enclosure. The risk of injury is significant, but it could fill a need in several ways.
Position: Starter / emergency
Statistics 2020: 5.40 ERA and 6.06 FIP in 8.2 innings, with 5.79 K / 9, 5.01 BB / 9, 1.54 HR / 9
MLBTR Projected Arbitration Salary: $ 3.9 million
Why it might fit: It would be a gamble on talent rather than production, as there aren’t many career numbers from Urena to recommend him as a free agent target. That said, we are in a time when pitchers are valued more for their abilities than for their achievements. If you find a guy with an elite trait or two, and believe in your analysts and pitch coaches, that may matter more than a lousy ERA or inflated walk rate.
In August, the Blue Jays acquired Robbie Ray as a tenant despite being in the middle of a brutal season. Catching Urena would be a similar move as they would rely on transforming Urena into something big. This bet would be based on the elite speed (95.3 mph) of his lead, which has above average vertical and horizontal motion that can make hitters look silly.
In his brief job last season, Urena strayed from that pitch, throwing him 41.7 percent of the time up from 62.9 in 2019, which likely took his rough statistical performance into account. He also has a missing bat slider and has cobbled together a curved ball, cutter, and changeup. If he establishes a cohesive pitch mix and sticks to it, his best years could be yet to come.
Much like Rodon, Urena has potential as an enclosure piece if he fails to break the spin. It should be noted that he hasn’t thrived in this role before, but the sample is relatively small (61 career innings) and with his velocity, there is no reason why shorter stays shouldn’t be him. are not beneficial.
Statistics 2020: .215 / .299 / .417 line in 164 plate appearances, with 6 HR and 6 SB
MLBTR Projected Arbitration Salary: $ 2.7 million
Why it might fit: In 2019, Goodwin was seen as a wellness escape story and an important addition to Mike Trout on the Los Angeles Angels. His stock has since dropped, but he’s still a practical and versatile player.
At home plate, Goodwin combines power and patience while hitting both right and left handed players. His main offensive weakness is a tendency to swing and miss, but his career line of .250 / .317 / .455 is more than respectable. It also has an 80th percentile sprint speed, which resulted in efficient, if not prolific, base flight.
Defensively, the 30-year-old ranks as an approximately average center-back, although his parameters have fluctuated wildly from year to year. It is also a good option in the corners. This is the type of player you don’t necessarily care about on the pitch as opposed to a more defender.
Nothing about Goodwin jumps off the page, but he’s the kind of reliable fourth outfielder who could raise the floor for the Blue Jays in this position and competently fill in if Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez or Lourdes Gurriel Jr. sustained an injury to the Blue Jays. long term.
Position: Short stop
Statistics 2020: .260 / .317 / .417 line in 189 plate appearances, with 5 HR and 2 SB
MLBTR Projected Arbitration Salary: $ 2.8 million
Why it might fit: Arcia is a player whose value is highly dependent on how you rate his 2020 performance. Historically speaking, he has been a first defense shortstop whose defense has seemed to decline in recent years. If you don’t think his glove job is so impressive anymore, it’s hard to put too much value in a guy with a .244 / .295 / .366 line career – that’s precisely why he’s a non-candidate. tender.
However, he has shown signs of life with the bat in 2020 that are at least intriguing. After years of being one of the worst hitters in the league from Statcast’s perspective, his exit speed was above average for the first time, which upped his expected stats.
He also increased his launch angle to 9.6 degrees, which took away his previous career record of 6.8. Arcia’s progress has included a significant bump in his production against breaking throws – traditionally his biggest weakness. In four seasons leading up to 2020, he’s never beaten better than .359 against them or felt less than 31.9% of the time. This year it hit 0.462 with a 24.5% odor rate.
The sample here is too small to inspire complete confidence in a major breakthrough, but it does add intrigue to Arcia as a target. While the 26-year-old makes offensive improvements – even marginal ones – he looks appealing as a part-time infielder who can handle short and has the potential to excel with the glove in less demanding positions like the second or the third.
Statistics 2020: 7.50 MPM and 5.69 FIP in 24 innings, with 10.13 K / 9, 3.38 BB / 9, 2.25 HR / 9
MLBTR Projected Arbitration Salary: 1,5 million de dollars
Why it might fit: Under normal circumstances, there’s no way a guy like Estevez would be a soft candidate. He was one of the Rockies’ top relievers as recently as 2019, averaging 96.9 mph on his fastpitch and his projected umpire pay is terrifyingly reasonable.
However, because the Rockies are looking to cut costs and their payrolls bogged down with important guaranteed contracts, Estevez could be kicked out the door after a tough season.
There are plenty of reasons to believe the 27-year-old could bounce back if this happened. His velocity at the 94th percentile alone is not a bad reason to roll the dice at him. Nor is the advantage he would gain from leaving Coors Field, where he has a career of 6.57 wpm – compared to 3.24 elsewhere.
Estevez also started incorporating his change into his field mix at a career high rate (12.4%) last year and saw batters hitting him to the tune of a .462 batting average and a hit percentage of 0.692. These numbers, and its below-average movement across the board, indicate it may be scrapped at its next port of call. Estevez is not a player the Blue Jays need, but he would be an interesting horse to bet on if he is released on or before December 2.