Robbie Ray might be headed out the door, but Kevin Gausman is on his way north of the border.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Gausman agreed to a five-year, $110 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
Ray remains unsigned. Even if the 2021 American League Cy Young Award winner winds up elsewhere, Toronto has a pretty formidable starting rotation with Gausman in tow:
- Jose Berrios
- Kevin Gausman
- Hyun Jim Ryu
- Alek Manoah
- Ross Stripling
Prior to signing Gausman, the Blue Jays were on track to have $111.3 million in total payroll commitments, per Spotrac, which put them 12th in MLB. If his salary is spread evenly over the five years ($22 million), Toronto would climb to 10th in terms of payroll.
Gausman's contract is the fourth-biggest in franchise history, and a telling fact is that three of the top four have now come within the last two offseasons.
All-Time <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueJays?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BlueJays</a> Contracts<br>1. G. Springer, $150M<br>2. J. Berrios, $131M<br>3. V. Wells, $126M<br>4. K. Gausman, $115M<br>5. R. Martin, $82M<br>6. H. Ryu, $80M<br>7. A. Rios, $69.8M<br>8. C. Delgado, $68M<br>9. J. Bautista, $64M<br>10. A. Burnett, $55M
Blue Jays fans watched the team reach the American League Championship Series in 2015 and 2016, only to turn around and post back-to-back losing seasons. Heading into 2019, there was at least some optimism about a farm system headlined by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette and what it could achieve in the future.
The organization turned a corner by making the playoffs in 2020 and while it missed out on the postseason in 2021, it had a higher winning percentage (91-71, .562) than the year before (32-28, .533).
Landing George Springer last winter and handing a seven-year, $131 million extension to Jose Berrios were both signs that ownership is willing to pony up in order to capitalize on a window for contention.
Passan reported Marcus Semien, who finished third in the AL MVP voting, agreed to a seven-year, $175 million deal with the Texas Rangers. There's also the uncertainty surrounding Ray. Their departures would obviously deal a blow to Toronto's hopes of claiming an AL East title in 2022.
On the whole, the offseason is still shaping up nicely for the Jays.