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Kevin Gausman Heads Out of San Fran and into the Great White North

Kevin Gausman has one of the best splitters in baseball. And after a stellar year with the Giants, he’s headed to Toronto.

Blue Jays by Richard Ha is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Kevin Gausman Heads Out of San Fran and into the Great White North

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Player: Kevin Gausman – Starting Pitcher, 31 years old

Team: Toronto Blue Jays

Contract: Five years / $110 million

Past Career/Last Year Highlights

  • #4 overall pick in 2012 MLB Draft
  • 17.1 Career WAR
  • 6th Cy Young Finish in 2021
  • 1x All-Star (2021)
  • 14-6, 2.81 ERA and 227 K in 2021

Toronto Blue Jays’ Recent History: 91-71 in 2021, 4th place in AL East

Only made postseason once in last five seasons (2020)

This is simply the cost of doing business. If you need to fill holes at the top of your rotation in free agency then you need to spend top dollar to do it. The Blue Jays rose to the occasion here to secure Gausman pitching every fifth day for them.

Gausman has the pedigree (#4 pick) and recent success in 2021 to make Toronto feel like they’re buying high on a pitcher who has finally figured it out. And to be fair, it can take pitchers much longer than their positional brethren to reach their full potential.

Here’s the thing though, he’s 18-20 in his career vs. the Red Sox/Yankees/Rays with an ERA over 4.00. Sure, he’s 6-3 all-time vs. Toronto but he now pitches for the Blue Jays.

The Gausman signing will also forever be compared to Robbie Ray’s 5-year, $115 million deal with the Seattle Marines. Ray won the Cy Young in 2021 with the Blue Jays and the Toronto front office felt Gausman was the safer play moving forward.

A key harbinger for the two pitchers’ future success could be their walk rate. Ray has walked 3.9 batters per 9 innings in his career, while Gausman has only walked 2.6. There’s no guarantee this will translate into who is the better long-term investment, but it’s always good to have pitchers who minimize free baserunners.

Turf Analysis – Grade = B

Terry is from Massachusetts and is a passionate fan of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins. He also will admit he only pays attention to Syracuse basketball when they're good. If there's a Twitter trade rumor even remotely associated with one of his teams, he's likely fallen for it. Finally, he believes 100% that if the Celtics had beaten the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals they would have swept the Thunder in the Finals.

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