I'm a cheap bastard, and certainly not one to pass up a bargain. I've acknowledged the value of a proven innings eater on an incentive based contract. But mother of god, some of the names being bandied about are making me lose faith.
I stumped for Brad Penny in the past, a proven guy with good stuff and a solid track record (2.17 K/BB, 45.6% GB rate, 9% HR/FB). I recognize these traits come at a cost, one the budget-conscious Blue Jays aren't willing to pay.
Some of the scumbags that are being rumoured as cheapo replacements are making my skin crawl. Carl Pavano I get, his stuff isn't bad. Looking a his numbers a little deeper (45% GB rate for his career, 10% HR/Fly ball, 2.3 K/BB) he doesn't seem to be terrible. One strong year surrounded by a few mediocre ones. For a minor league deal sure, but let's adjust our expectations accordingly.
As reported by Jordan Bastian today, the Jays have had some discussions with Kris Benson. Fuck. That. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2006, and he sucked when he did. Only once in his career did he amass a FIP under 4, he makes Carl Pavano look like Cy Young. Fewer ground balls, more home runs per fly ball, lower K/BB rate. Ugh. Add his sideshow wife to the mix; I'm not happy.
In other words, these guys are looking at Jesse Litsch as a ceiling. Mid thirties Jesse Litsches, not 23 year old Litsches with lots to learn and clean injury histories. Don't even get me started on Brian Tallet in the rotation...
Graph courtesy of, you won't believe this, Fangraphs.