The Toronto Blue Jays re-signed Gavin Floyd to a minor-league contract Thursday in the hopes that the right-hander will make a full recovery from the shoulder capsule strain that sidelined him for the final three months of the 2016 season.
The deal, which includes an invitation to MLB spring training, has the potential to give the Blue Jays some additional pitching depth, either for the rotation or for the bullpen. Floyd, a veteran of 13 MLB seasons, posted a 4.06 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 31 relief innings for the Blue Jays in 2016, providing manager John Gibbons with some much-needed bullpen support early in the year. But the 33-year-old didn’t pitch after June 25 due to lat and shoulder issues.
Floyd has been on the disabled list seven times since 2012, so he no longer offers the stability that was once his best asset. Floyd, the fourth overall pick of the 2001 draft, established himself as a durable starter for the Chicago White Sox when he averaged 190 innings with a 4.12 ERA from 2008–12. Elbow injuries cost him the better part of the next three seasons, before the Blue Jays signed him to a big league contract this time last year.
The Blue Jays have a full rotation consisting of J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Francisco Liriano, so on paper there’s no need for Floyd in the rotation. That said, every team needs additional arms ready to step in at a moment’s notice, so Floyd could be stretched out in spring training, as he was in 2016.
The Blue Jays’ bullpen includes more open spots, at least beyond the top three of Roberto Osuna, Jason Grilli and Joe Biagini. The likes of Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, Mike Bolsinger and Rule 5 pick Glenn Sparkman are also expected to earn consideration for big league bullpen roles barring further additions.