Blue Jays sign reliever Chad Green to two-year deal, DFA LHP Matt Gage

Shi Davidi joins Ken Reid to discuss the Blue Jays signing reliever Chad Green, looking at how the contract offers protection for both team and player, what he provides when he returns from injury and if the front office is looking to add more.

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays and reliever Chad Green have signed an $8.5-million, two-year deal that includes a multi-layered option structure, according to two industry sources.

Under the incredibly creative contract, Green is guaranteed $2.25 million this year, after which the contract can extend in the following ways:

• First, the Blue Jays get a club option covering the 2024-26 seasons for $27 million over three years, with annual performance bonuses of up to $1 million based on games pitched;

• If the Blue Jays decline that option, Green gets a player option for the 2024 season worth $6.25 million with up to $2 million in bonuses based on games pitched;

• If Green declines that, the Blue Jays get a final $21-million, two-year club option covering 2024-25 with annual performance bonuses of up to $1 million based on games pitched.

To make room for Green on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated left-hander Matt Gage for assignment.

Gage was 0-1 with a 1.38 ERA over 13 innings of relief with the Blue Jays last season.

Green is coming off Tommy John surgery last June and it’s unclear when in 2023 he’ll be ready to pitch, but the contract is reflective of how strong his market was despite the injury, with teams seeking to reward the talent while mitigating risk.

The 31-year-old was one of the nastier arms in the New York Yankees bullpen over the past six years, owing a career WHIP of 1.022 and strikeouts per nine of 11.6 in 272 games.

If he’s able to return at some point during the ‘23 season and recapture his past fastball-curveball mix, he’ll further lengthen a Blue Jays bullpen already bolstered this off-season by the addition of Erik Swanson. 

They slot in alongside Yimi Garcia, Anthony Bass, Tim Mayza and Adam Cimber as bridges to closer Jordan Romano, giving manager John Schneider and pitching coach Pete Walker far more options to lock-down games.

Michael Marino of Fantrax was first to report the agreement.

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