Blue Jays’ Mark Shapiro feels Shun Yamaguchi would complement team well

Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro joined Tim and Sid to talk about the reports that the Jays have signed Shun Yamaguchi, building a young roster and much more.

The president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays says adding a player like Shun Yamaguchi would complement the team well.

Mark Shapiro appeared on Tim and Sid Tuesday for an over 20-minute interview discussing all aspects of the Blue Jays’ off-season to date. The interview came shortly after Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported the club reached an agreement with Yamaguchi, a Japanese right-hander, pending a physical.

“Among the free agents that are out there, he’s a guy that has some versatility, has some upside out of the pen, but can also start and I think as we look to build a staff, he’s one potential guy that could complement our guys pretty well and still get a lot of flexibility in terms of how we go about the rest of the off-season because, I know it doesn’t feel like it, but there’s still a good amount of off-season left,” Shapiro said.

Because the deal wasn’t official, Shapiro could only speak in relative terms.

Japanese sports daily Sankei Sports reported Yamaguchi’s deal with the Blue Jays is for two years and $3 million annually.

Yamaguchi had a 15-4 record and 2.78 earned-run average over 170 innings last season for the Yomiuri Giants. His 188 strikeouts led Japan’s Central League while he allowed just eight home runs.

The 32-year-old is another addition to a starting rotation that has been overhauled by management this winter. Last week, the team signed free right-hander Tanner Roark while earlier they acquired Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade.

Shapiro said the off-season has gone quicker than normal this year with many big free agent names already off the board, including pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg along with star third baseman Anthony Rendon.

However, he still feels as though there’s room for Toronto to grow.

“We need to get better and we need to win,” he said.

“We’ve already added and we’re going to continue to add.”

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