The Blue Jays were making headlines on the day of their “Leadoff” season ticket holders by reportedly agreeing to a deal with veteran righty-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd, according to Jon Heyman (also reported by Chris Cotillo).
Floyd, who broke into the big leagues back in 2004 with the Philadelphia Philles and spent several years with the White Sox as a solid mid-rotation (or back-of-the-rotation) starter has had injury woes since sustaining having Tommy John surgery back in 2013 and breaking a bone in his elbow in 2014 and 2015.
The 33-year-old Floyd has a 4.38 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 1219 innings over his 12-year career with a solid 7.8% walk rate and 18.3% strikeout rate. He most recently threw 54 1/3 innigns with the Braves, making nine starts in 2014 with a 2.65 ERA and threw 13 1/3 innings with Mark Shapiro’s Cleveland Indians in 2015.
Details of the contract have not been announced and there are huge questions about what Floyd’s role with the Blue Jays might be in 2016. Did the Jays sign Floyd to compete for a starter’s role on the big club? Is he being promised a bullpen role if he doesn’t crack the rotation? Is this a minor league deal with an opt-out after a certain point in the season if he’s not on the major league squad?
When we have the particulars, likely tomorrow, there will likely be more clarity as to what is going to be expected of Floyd. I could see Floyd, if effective, challenging for the #5 starter’s role, bumping Jesse Chavez, Aaron Sanchez and Drew Hutchison into the bullpen/minors.
It’s certainly an interesting wrinkle among the Blue Jays’ offseason acquisitions with the Jays mostly bolstering the back end of the rotation by picking up Jesse Chavez, then J.A. Happ and now Floyd. If he returns to the form of his prime, putting his littany of injuries behind him, Floyd could very well be another inning-eater in the rotation but there are many things that could wrong with the righty who has struggled with injuries for the better part of three seasons.
UPDATE: Thanks to Gideon Turk of Blue Jays Plus, it appears that Floyd’s deal with the Blue Jays is a major league contract for $1 million with another million available in incentives. This clearly means that the Jays have a big league role in mind for Floyd but whether it’s in the rotation or the bullpen likely won’t be seen until the season is under way. If he’s effective in either role, he’s going to be a bargain at this price.
Source: Blue Jays sign Gavin Floyd to Major League deal. $1M base salary + $1M in potential bonuses based on active days on roster.
— Gideon Turk (@GideonTurk) February 5, 2016
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