The Blue Jays have brought back a key piece from their AL East Champion team. They have resigned RHP Marco Estrada to a 2 year, $18 million deal. Estrada was one of the most consistent starting pitchers for the Jays last season and provided them with some solid starts in the postseason. The Blue Jays have a lot to work to do on the rotation with David Price becoming a free agent.
Estrada had the best season of his career in 2015 as he pitched to a 3.13 ERA and and made a career high 28 starts. Estrada was one of the most consistent pitchers in the Blue Jays rotation and provided the AL East champs with a solid starter after the team traded for star pitcher David Price. Interestingly, Estrada had the lowest strikeout rate of his career, striking out 6.5 hitters per nine innings. His career strikeouts per game is 8 K’s.
(Courtesy of mlb.com)
Estrada does not have spectacular stuff as his fastball sits in the high 80’s to low 90’s, but his success stems from his control of the strike zone, as he only walks about two hitters per nine innings, and his location of his changeup as a put away pitch. For the Blue Jays, getting a 32 year old pitcher on a 2 year contract is good value and $9 million per year isn’t too bad of a value for a starter of Estrada’a caliber when you look at what other starting pitchers get on the free agent market. I’ don’t think that Estrada is a top two pitcher in a good rotation, but he will be reliable for Toronto as they look to keep adding to their starting rotation this offseason.