Yankees should be thankful Kevin Gausman rejected Blue Jays contract offer

The Blue Jays were very close to bolstering their starting rotation, Yankees fans.

The Tampa Bay Rays are the immediate threat. The Boston Red Sox are the always-lingering threat. But perhaps New York Yankees fans have yet to fully grasp that the Toronto Blue Jays are about to be very, very annoying for the next five or so years.

On top of that, their front office is being extremely aggressive in free agency. Last year they signed Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year contract (among other moves). This offseason, they’ve been linked to DJ LeMahieu, Francisco Lindor and JT Realmuto. It’s clear they’re intending to spend money and do battle with the Yankees.

We learned this week that they reportedly tried to sneak in a signing that would’ve no doubt further disadvantaged New York. Though they came up short, the Yankees front office needs to take note of what’s going on.

Here’s what Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported:

“Not that it’s needed, but here’s more evidence the Blue Jays are among the most active clubs this offseason. According to sources, they offered free-agent right-hander Kevin Gausman a three-year deal, believed to be in the $40 million range, before the pitcher accepted the Giants’ one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer.

“Gausman, 29, took a calculated gamble, figuring that if he pitches well, he will exceed the $20 million or so he sacrificed by rejecting the Jays’ proposal. His choice seems reasonable enough, considering his previous experience as a free agent.”

Thankfully, Gausman will remain in the National League for at least another year. The right-hander doesn’t exactly instill fear within his opponents, but Yankees fans should be thankful he’s not with the Jays. Gausman, previously a member of the Baltimore Orioles, has a ton of experience in the AL East and is rock solid against the Bombers.

Here are his career stats vs the Yanks:

  • 7-6 with a 3.77 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 97 strikeouts in 24 games (18 starts), totaling 112.1 innings

Reeeeallllyy don’t need his sinker forcing groundout after groundout after groundout.

Forget his effectiveness against the Yankees, though. This would’ve moved the Blue Jays closer to having a complete rotation. Ryu leads the way with Robbie Ray as the back-end veteran and Nate Pearson as the promising up-and-comer. We also can’t forget about Ross Stripling. Adding Gausman would’ve given Toronto formidable depth.

But crisis averted, for now. We know the Yankees have plenty of free agency battles to take on themselves, but fans should be in tune with everything that’s going on within the division as well.