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Blue Jays sign Matt Shoemaker

The Blue Jays have finally done something! The team has reportedly signed right-handed starter Matt Shoemaker to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million guaranteed plus $1 million in possible bonuses.

Shoemaker will provide some much-needed depth to Toronto’s young pitching rotation. With him in the mix, the Jays project to start the season with Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Shoemaker, Ryan Borucki, and one of Sean Reid-Foley, Thomas Pannone, Trent Thornton, and Jacob Waguespack in the rotation. Ideally, the Jays add another arm like Shoemaker so that their Large Adult Son starters can start the season in Triple-A Buffalo.

Shoemaker, who turned 32 in September, was once a very solid starter for the Angels. He’s had his last two seasons derailed by injury, but he posted a 3.88 ERA over 160 innings in 2016. Last year, he had a 4.94 ERA in just seven starts, though his peripherals were quite solid. He struck out 9.6 batters per nine while walking 2.9 per nine and allowing just 0.9 homers per nine. Small sample size, of course, but those are encouraging numbers.

Shoemaker was non-tendered by the Angels this off-season so the Jays will have his rights for one more season beyond this one. So if things go well, there’s some added value there. If not, well, it’s a $3.5 million investment, which is much, much less than they paid Jaime Garcia to suck all kinds of ass last year.

Also, Shoemaker fills Toronto’s final 40-man roster spot. From here one out, if the Jays add a player, somebody needs to be removed from the 40-man.