Blue Jays hit five-year, $ 110 million deal with free agent Kevin Gausman, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Jon Morosi of the MLB Network tweeted earlier Sunday that the two sides were “gaining momentum towards a deal,” and Morosi’s earlier reports suggested Gausman would land a five-year deal in the order of $ 100 million, with the Jays as a finalist for the right-handed services. Gausman is represented by Tidal Sports.

The signing represents the end of a fairly lengthy courtship display, as the Blue Jays’ interest in Gausman dates back at least to the 2019-20 offseason, when the right-hander was emerging from a difficult season between the Braves and the Reds. After being rejected by Cincinnati, Gausman opted instead to sign with the Giants on a one-year, $ 9 million contract, and after a very successful 2020 season, he opted to accept the Giants’ qualifying offer. of $ 18.9 million to return to San Francisco. . The Jays were one of the teams that launched a Gausman-style multi-year bid, but he turned the Jays down. reported offers over three years in the range of $ 40 million to try to further bolster its value with another solid year with the Giants.

In two years in San Francisco, Gausman not only rebounded from his tough 2019 numbers, but reached a new plateau of success. Gausman has posted a SIERA 3.00 / 3.38 ERA during his 251 2/3 innings as a Giant, with an excellent strikeout rate of 30% and a walk rate of 6.5% clearly above average.

While Gausman pitched over 59 2/3 innings in the shortened 2020 season, he duplicated his performance over a full year in 2021, throwing 192 executives and finishing sixth in the NL Cy Young Award vote. A notable wrinkle between the two years was that Gausman increased the use of his split-finger fastball to a career high 36.6% in 2021, and his divider became one of the most devastating pitches of all. baseball arsenal.

The 192 innings marked a career high for Gausman, although he was a solid workhorse averaging 183 IPs per year from 2016 to 2018 with the Orioles and Braves. It should be noted that Gausman was much better in the first half (1.73 ERA in 114 2/3 IP) than he was after the All-Star break (4.42 ERA out of 77 1 / 3 PI) last year, but some regression might have been inevitable given the glaring number of 1.73. Gausman was also treat hip pain for much of the year, and it may just have started to wear out like many starters did while getting back to a steady workload after the shorter 2020 season.

The Blue Jays watched Gausman a lot during his Orioles days, but while he was a decent but unspectacular member of the Baltimore rotation, now he will be expected to replicate his numbers at the top of the 2020 rotation. -21. Toronto has been focused on the pitching market for much of the winter, and during Gausman’s touchdown, it’s possible the club will now have their replacement for Robbie ray, if the left-hander signs elsewhere in free agency.

MLBTR ranked Gausman fifth on our list of the 50 best free agents of winter, and his contract falls a little short of our projection of $ 138 million over six years. However, it looks like Gausman left money on the table to join the Blue Jays, as SNY’s Andy martino tweets that the Mets offered Gausman a bigger deal than Toronto’s five-year, $ 110 million. The Giants were also known to make a solid effort to retain Gausman, while the Angels, Mariners and Red Sox all had some interest. Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams reports that the Sox offered “nothing real” to Gausman during their negotiations.

Gausman (who will be 31 in January) joins Jose berrios, Hyun jin ryu and Alek manoah like the four locks of the Jays’ rotation, with the former best prospect Nate Pearson favorite for fifth place, and Ross stripling and Anthony Kay handy if Pearson is struggling or having more injury issues. Between the agreement of Gausman, that of Berrios seven year extension / $ 131 million, Ryu has signed for two more seasons and with Manoah and Pearson offering lower cost control as future starters, Toronto has built a solid core of weapons that the club hope they can withstand stiff competition from AL East.

Gausman’s signing could also close the door to the chances of Ray re-signing with the Jays, and Toronto also lost another starter in Steven matz, who signed a four-year pact with the Cardinals. It seems possible the Blue Jays are looking for yet another lower-cost depth arm to compete with Pearson and Co., perhaps looking to hit hard on another rebound contender like they did with Ray and Matz in the winter. latest.

Since Gausman had already received a qualifying offer during his career, he was not eligible to receive another one this time around in free agency, meaning the Blue Jays don’t have to give up any choices. draft in compensation for his services. The Jays have already landed a compensatory choice when Marcus Semien signed with the Rangers, and would receive another if Ray signed elsewhere as Ray and Semien rejected Toronto’s qualifying offers. With that extra draft capital in hand, the Blue Jays might be more willing to sign their own free agent QO now, as they were able to land their sought after rotation upgrade at Gausman without the cost of any picks.