The Toronto Blue Jays have been an active team this offseason, and that continued on the last day of January. Toronto has reportedly come to terms on a multi-year deal with RHP Chad Green, who’s spent all of his MLB career with the Yankees. It’s a move that comes with high upside, but that potential may not be realized in 2023.
A Look at Green
Former Yankees reliever Chad Green did have some shaky moments throughout parts of his tenure in New York. But in total, the 31-year-old proved to be a highly reliable arm in The Bronx.
Across seven seasons, Green posted a career ERA of 3.17 and a very impressive K/9 rate of 11.6. Green relies on two pitches: a hard fastball and a slurvish-looking breaking ball. The ex-Yankee’s fastball velocity was down in 2022, but the righty’s been known to hit the mid-to-upper-90s with good extension.
As far as his breaking ball — which sits in the mid-80s — is concerned, it’s mainly been a reliable weapon for Green that can elicit plenty of whiffs. However, the righty has tended to leave it hanging over the plate just a bit too much at times. In 2021, Green saw his curveball get lit up for 12 extra base hits per Statcast. Just ten pitchers and one reliever (Pierce Johnson) gave up more than Green on a curveball that year.
Even with Green’s inconsistencies, there’s a lot to like about this move, given Green’s power stuff. When clicking, the 31-year-old right-hander has electric stuff. The one downside to this deal is that Green won’t be available at the start — or even all — of 2023. Green underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2022, with an estimated recovery time of 12-18 months.
The best case scenario is that Green becomes available at some point farther down the line in 2023. However, there’s a strong chance that the Louisville product won’t be back for this season. Thus, it makes sense for the Jays to ink Green to a multi-year deal that could as long as a four-year contract should Toronto exercise a club option after 2023.
What it Means
The Blue Jays already owned a rather solid bullpen before this move. Yimi Garcia pitched to the tune of a 3.10 ERA last season for the Jays, while deceptive righty Adam Cimber induced plenty of weak contact in 2022. Right-handers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop both pitched well after both came over from Miami in the summer. Left-hander Tim Mayza — aside from Game 2 of the AL Wild Card — also did his job in 2022, and closer Jordan Romano struck out 73 over 64 innings en route to a 36 save season.
Still, there’s always room for more relievers. Chad Green has proven to be an effective reliver throughout his career, whether it be as an opener or a late-inning option. The right-hander may not be an option at the start, or even all of 2023, but there’s still a lot to like about this signing. Green can beat hitters with either his fastball or breaking ball, and has shown above-average command throughout much of his career. If the 31-year-old can come back just as strong, the Jays bullpen could be a difficult one for opposing hitters to navigate.