After a disappointing and underachieving season by the Toronto Blue Jays‘ starting rotation, GM Alex Anthopoulos has no choice but to go out once again and explore the market for some mid-rotation help. Although they will have some familiar faces return as starters, there is work to be done for the front office during the offseason.
Slated to come back as starting pitchers for the team in 2014 are R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle and presumably J.A. Happ. There is no guarantee that Josh Johnson will sign with the Blue Jays following elbow surgery earlier this week. The supposed ace figures to look for a one-year deal to reestablish himself so that he can test free agency once again after the 2014 season.
So, who is available to fill the void in the middle of the Blue Jays rotation? Do they go with someone in their system, or do they go with a durable veteran similar to Buehrle?
When the Blue Jays acquired Buehrle to help strengthen the middle of their rotation in 2013, they knew exactly what they were going to get. What Buehrle lacks in youth, he makes up for in durability. He is always ready to go and somehow always seems to stay healthy. This may be the route that Anthopoulos takes during the offseason, as durability has proven to be important when it comes down to being a pitcher for the Blue Jays.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Bronson Arroyo may be a good fit inside the Blue Jays clubhouse. Cafardo made it clear that Arroyo is most likely going to be looking for a three-year deal, which is exactly the type of contract the Blue Jays don’t mind handing out. They don’t like negotiating long-term contracts, so the 36-year old’s contractual needs seem very favorable for them to explore.
Along with being affordable, Arroyo would add some consistency along with innings pitched to a rotation that always seems to be riddled by injury by the time the All-Star break approaches. With the addition of Arroyo, the Blue Jays would have one of the oldest starting pitching rotations in MLB.
But with that, they would have a solid few pitchers in Dickey, Buehrle, and Arroyo that are almost guaranteed to pitch every five days rather than miss five weeks at a time.