The Case For Tom Koehler As The Blue Jays 5th Starter in 2018
With the 2017 season winding to a close and the Toronto Blue Jays well out of contention, it’s finally time to start thinking about what moves and direction this team needs to take with hopes of improving in the future. Regardless of what is responsible for the abysmal performance of the club, the fact remains that this team needs to progress in several areas if they hope to compete.
Since the team just recently signed Marco Estrada to a 13 million dollar extension, the Jays are likely going to try improving their club by acquiring one more starting pitcher, one more outfielder, a backup middle infielder who can hit reasonably well, a backup catcher who can both hit and throw at a respectable level, and possibly some bullpen additions.
Barring a significant increase to the Jays player payroll, the odds of them filling all of these holes to a strong level is low. I expect the Jays to have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 to 30 million dollars of budget space after arbitration, which is a lot of areas where the Jays need to improve relative to their financial situation.
Obviously this is gonna call for Toronto’s move to be financially efficient, meaning that finding value in players who are cheaper than alternatives in free agency. So what if there was a way to acquire a competent and mostly proven 5th starter without exhausting your player payroll? What if I also told you that this could be without sacrificing any prospects or hoping for a miracle (Shohei Otani) in free agency? Well in my opinion the Jays already have this player, and he goes by the name Tom Koehler.