Taking a deep dive on the newest Blue Jay Zach Thompson, along with a farewell to Chavez Young

As you may know, the Blue Jays have acquired a pitcher who may fill in the fifth starting spot in the rotation.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Blue Jays acquired right-handed pitcher Zach Thompson, who had been designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Toronto could have claimed him off waivers, but they instead traded outfielder Chavez Young for the 29-year-old pitcher so no other team could claim him.
Let’s dive into what the Blue Jays are gaining in Thompson and what they’ve lost in Young.
Zach Thompson, a deep dive:
The first thing that jumps out to me about Thompson is his size. Per Fangraphs, he’s listed at 6’7, 250 pounds. Despite the huge frame, the righty only sits at 92.4 mph with his fastball, with a maximum velocity of 94 mph, which came on his debut.
It’s also worth mentioning that Thompson has options, meaning that he can be sent down up to five times without the Jays worrying about losing him to the waiver wire.
His tenure with the Pirates wasn’t great, as he had a 5.18 ERA and a 4.87 FIP in 121.1 innings pitched. His K% sat at a pretty low 16.6%, while he had an 8.6 BB%, which is about average. Thompson was used mainly in a starter role, as he started 22 of 29 games that he appeared in.

Zach Thompson strikes out 11 batters in his 4th MLB Career start. pic.twitter.com/ZQGJZcvhud
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) June 27, 2021

In 2021, …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Another starting pitcher is off the market, as the New York Mets sign Kodai Senga

Another free agent starting pitcher is off the market.

According to SportsNet New York’s Andy Martino, the New York Mets have signed Japanese starter Kodai Senga.

The Mets are sighing Kodai Senga, according to a source.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 11, 2022

What is more surprising, is the contract that Senga signed. His contract numbers also come from Martino, as the 29-year-old signed a 5-year, $75,000,000, which has an annual average of $15,000,000.

The agreement is for 5 years and $75 million. https://t.co/YeZNvF2HLe
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 11, 2022

Pitching for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in 2022, the 29-year-old righty had a 1.94 ERA in 144 innings pitched. Furthermore, he had a 27.5 K% and an 8.6 BB%. He had a 2.59 ERA in 1089 innings pitched in Japan for his career.
Senga is known for sitting high 90s (touching over 100 mph) and throwing a nasty forkball. While it remains a question if his success can translate overseas, it appears to only improve the Mets starting rotation, which is already pretty darn good.
Interestingly, the Mets payroll now sits at an absolutely insane $349,570,000, well above the $233,000,000 Competitive Balance Tax limit. It’ll be funny to see them get swept in the National League Divisional Series though!

Mets payroll now at $349.57 million
— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) December 11, 2022

While it was reported early in the off-season that the Jays could be linked to Senga, it seems unlikely after his agent’s comments about visiting only one country.

Joel Wolfe, the agent for Kodai Senga, says the feee agent right-hander recently visited 6-7 cities but “only one country.” Senga wants a long term deal, Wolfe adds, and has already been offered contracts of 5-6 years.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) December 6, 2022

So, who remains on the free agent market for the Jays? There isn’t a lot in terms of high-end talent, as only Carlos Rodón fits that regard. There are a few mid-rotation guys such as Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Bassitt, but with the qualifying offer attached to those players, I’m not sure …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Blue Jays targets Andrew Heaney, Cody Bellinger sign elsewhere and the latest on Toronto Blue Jays payroll

A few free-agent targets have signed elsewhere.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, who was linked to the Jays a day ago, inked a two-year, $25-million deal with the Texas Rangers. The deal also carries an opt-out that could increase it to $37-million.
Outfielder Cody Bellinger, meanwhile, inked a one-year, $17.5-million deal with the Chicago Cubs. The slugger reportedly was looking for a one-year reset type of deal and now, he’s got it.
Here’s some of what Thomas Hall had to say about how Heaney made sense as a Blue Jays target:
Toronto heavily pursued Heaney last off-season before he ultimately signed a one-year, $8.5-million contract with Los Angeles, marking his second tenure with the franchise after being briefly acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2014. And their interest level has undoubtedly increased even further following his bounce-back 2022 performance.
After a disappointing 2021 campaign, where the left-hander posted a 5.83 ERA over 129.2 innings split between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees, he underwent some key mechanical adjustments that allowed him to enjoy a much-needed reset. As a result, the 6-foot-2 hurler finished with a 3.10 ERA, 3.39 xERA, 3.75 FIP and a . …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation