Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Jays sign a starter...John Thomson


Ricciardi has finally brought a starter into the mix...former Atlanta Brave John Thomson. He agreed to an incentive-laden contract with a $500,000 salary on Tuesday. Ricciardi explains his rationale:

"This is the kind of veteran guy we’re trying to bring in here to give us some innings,"
The veteran only threw 80 innings last season because of a couple injuries but he didn't throw too badly with an ERA of 4.82, ERA+ of 91, 46Ks and 32 BBs. His career ERA+ is of 103. He threw one perfect inning on September 27th against the Mets after coming back from his injury suffered in this July 9th game. This is a low risk signing by the Jays of only $500,000; certainly compared to the salaries being handed out this year. The Hardball Times had him ranked as one of the five most interesting free agents left...
Several weeks ago, it was reported that the Mariners were on the verge of signing Thomson to a one-year, $4 million contract. I was ready to hail that as an underrated, promising signing until ... well, it didn't happen. Thomson, of course, has quite the injury history, and perhaps interested teams have been scared off by medical data they've acquired.

If he's healthy, though, he could outperform many of the pitchers scoring three-year deals. Thomson has thrown 160 innings or more in five separate seasons, and his lowest ERA+ among those campaigns was 98, in 2002. His '06 performance is tough to put in a positive light, but '05 is a different story: while his ERA was below average in about 100 innings, his FIP, at 3.39, was a full run lower than his ERA. He'd be a gamble, but a few million bucks for a league-average starter? I'm surprised no one has yet rolled the dice.
Mariners had a $4 million dollar offer to him? This may be a sign that he failed a physical or that his health was a concern. But as stated, if he's healthy he's well worth the risk, certainly in this market. At the very least it allows the Jays to start the season with Taubenheim-McGowan-Janssen in AAA. BTW McGowan was apparently given another option to allow him to back to AAA because of his injury problems. More stat analysis later tonight or tomorrow, it's supper time.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good signing!

Priest said...

At 500K this is a pretty good signing. If he stays healthy it has the potential to be a great deal, if not we didn't give up anything except a bit of cash.

mike said...

And he already calls out New York...but the Mets not the yanks...