The Blue Jays are apparently looking to add to their pitching staff as Kirby Yates will likely miss the 2021 season
By Cam Lewis1 year ago
Boy oh boy, the Blue Jays really had a dump taken on them today.
George Springer is dealing with an oblique strain and the team hopes that it’s minor AND Robbie Ray will miss his next Grapefruit start after *checks notes* he slipped and fell while carrying his child down the stairs. OK!
The worst news of all, though, is that Kirby Yates’ elbow injury, which we learned about yesterday, is actually worse than originally anticipated. Yates will “most likely” require Tommy John Surgery, which means he’s probably done for the 2021 season.
Uh, in better news, both Nate Pearson and Thomas Hatch are recovering “exceptionally well” and the Blue Jays are confident that neither will miss significant time. Thank goodness there’s some positive news mixed in there, because yikes.
Anyways, the big news here is the fact that the Blue Jays now don’t have a bonafide closer this season and that Ross Atkins said that the team has an interest in adding to their pitching staff, either starters or relievers, and that they might be in the mix to make a big splash sooner rather than later…
Perhaps the most simple solution, on paper, would be to go out and sign Shane Greene, who is still on the free-agent market. But it’s difficult to say whether or not Toronto’s budget for payroll is already maxed out or not, meaning any upgrade to the rotation might have to come via trade.
Back in late-January after the team announced the Springer and Marcus Semien signings, Mark Shapiro said that the bulk of the heavy lifting was finished for the off-season but that there was still room for the front office to get creative to improve the team. Shortly after that, the team acquired a buy-low pitcher in Steven Matz in a deal with the New York Mets, which pretty clearly represented what Shapiro meant by getting creative.
Shapiro also mentioned a little bit more recently that he expected the Blue Jays to be active ahead of this season’s trade deadline, such as they were in 2016 when the team was contending and as they were last summer. So, with all this in mind, there’s pretty obviously room for the front office to be flexible when it comes to adding to the roster, but the process will likely be expedited in the wake of Yates going on the shelf for the entirety of 2021.
I wouldn’t expect the team to go out and make a huge trade in the next week before the season starts but I also wouldn’t expect them to wait for the trade deadline either. I imagine they’ll give their internal options an opportunity to succeed and then they’ll have an idea of exactly which part of the roster needs to be fixed via trade. I mean, if Jordan Romano can jump in and become an amazing closer, you don’t necessarily need to go out and add another reliever. Maybe it’s a depth starter the team needs instead.
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