Blue Jays sign reliever Chad Green to 2-year deal in high-upside move
The 31-year-old, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June, has put up elite numbers when healthy.
The Toronto Blue Jays have added another potential power arm to their bullpen.
Chad Green, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June, has agreed to a two-year, $8.5-million contract with the Blue Jays, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported on Tuesday. Fantrax’s Michael Marino first reported the singing.
Blue Jays and reliever Chad Green are in agreement per source, as @MarinoMLB reported. Green is recovering from Tommy John surgery in June. Righty has a career WHIP of 1.022 and K/9 of 11.6. https://t.co/Pu8zbtNo39
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 31, 2023
Green’s deal with Toronto is structured to ensure both sides receive security, with the 31-year-old earning $2.25 million next season. The details become a little complicated after 2023, though.
The team can exercise a three-year club option worth $27 million plus up to $1 million in bonus performances. But if they don’t, the former New York Yankee receives a conditional $6.25 million player option for 2024, including $2 million in bonuses.
If both sides decline their respective options, the Blue Jays receive a two-year, $21-million club option with $1 million in bonuses for 2024-25. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports Green has passed his physical.
Green is rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery last June. Structure of contract will force Jays to make early decision on him and give Green ability to exercise second guaranteed year if team does not exercise three-year option. He has passed his physical. https://t.co/CGaMVqvtTU
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 31, 2023
The Blue Jays originally selected Green out of high school in the 37th round of the 2010 draft. But he opted not to sign and attended the University of Louisville instead and was ultimately drafted in the 11th round by the Detroit Tigers three years later.
Green has played seven big-league seasons — all with the Yankees — and has logged 383.2 career innings, registering 11 saves, a 3.17 ERA, 494 strikeouts and a 7.8 fWAR. He possesses prior experience as a starter and reliever but has strictly worked out of the bullpen since 2020.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound righty made just 14 appearances before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery last season, posting a 3.00 ERA, 2.85 FIP and a 17.7 percent strikeout-to-walk rate difference over 15 innings. He saw his fastball velocity drop by 1.1 mph, with his four-seamer averaging a career-low 94.6 mph.
When healthy, though, Green has proven to be an elite high-leverage reliever. In 2021, his strikeout (31.4 percent) and walk rates (5.4 percent) ranked in the 90th and 89th percentiles, respectively, earning him a 26 percent K-BB rate difference.
Additionally, the Greenville, S.C., native’s four-seamer averaged 95.7 mph and 2,501 RPMs, placing in the 85th percentile and 94th percentiles.
There is risk involved with acquiring a pitcher who’s coming off a significant injury, however, the move could also feature a ton of upside. Based on the standard 12-14 month recovery timeline, Green could return late next season, providing a boost down the stretch.
If everyone else remains healthy, Green would join a group that already includes Jordan Romano, Erik Swanson, Anthony Bass and Yimi Garcia, providing Toronto with one of the premier bullpens in the majors.
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