It took a few days to heat the stove after the end of the MLB owners’ lockout, but transactions are now being made at a furious pace.
Kikuchi has reportedly agreed to a three-year, US$36 million deal. The Japanese All-Star has a 4.97 ERA (86 ERA+) over three seasons with the Seattle Mariners. While his performance in the first half of 2021 earned an All-Star selection, his ERA ballooned to 5.98 on a 1.705 WHIP in the second half. He will look to bounce back with a role at the end of the Jays’ starting rotation.
Another report indicates Vasquez will be signing a major-league contract with Toronto. Vasquez is a reliever who made his MLB debut with Minnesota in 2018 but has spent most of his time in the minors. He has a 2.43 ERA over 175 minor-league games. In 2021, he appeared in two big-league games with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The addition of Kikuchi fills out the starting rotation, and Vasquez joins Tim Mayza as the Jays’ lone left-handed relievers. These signings should not be the final offseason moves, as the Blue Jays will need to acquire additional pitching depth and replace Marcus Semien.
Featured Image: Toronto, Canada – May 30, 2017. Sign of Blue Jays at a store in Eaton Centre, Toronto by Lester Balajadia / Shutterstock.com.