Blue Jays re-up with Dustin McGowan
The Toronto Blue Jays have signed Dustin McGowan to a two-year contract extension despite the right-hander's lengthy injury history.
Health concerns, you ask? McGowan underwent Tommy John surgery as a minor leaguer, and in the majors he's lost a whopping 536 (!) games to injury. Chiefly, it's been rotator-cuff and labrum surgeries, which are, to say the least, not good things for pitchers.
On the upside, McGowan, on those rare occasions when not covered in stitches, bandages and healing salves (meaning, mostly, 2007), has been effective. If McGowan can stay reasonably healthy, which, obviously, is a sizeable assumption, then he'll almost certainly provide far more value than he's being paid for, and that's the bet the Blue Jays are making.
McGowan's capable of hitting 95 with some consistency, and there's never been any questioning his intensity and work ethic. He's also looked good in 5.0 spring innings, and his current injury (plantar fasciitis in his right foot) is not serious and not arm-related. So file that under "for what it's worth."
From the Jays' perspective, though, there's not a great deal of financial risk wrapped up in this deal, and there's potential for outstanding value on the dollar. One also assumes some level of due diligence on the part of GM Alex Anthopoulos, who's proved himself to be a smart operator. Sure, while it seems strange to think of McGowan's receiving a multi-year contract, this one's defensible from the team standpoint.
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