Apr 16, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins Miami Marlins pinch hitter JT Riddle (R) is splashed with water by Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler (L) after hitting the game winning two run homer during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Add Depth in Trade for RHP Tom Koehler

The Blue Jays have made a trade in the August window.



Toronto receives 31 year old Tom Koehler (RHP) from the Marlins in exchange for 22 year old RHP Osman Gutierrez. Gutierrez was struggling in low A, with a 7.85 ERA in 78.0 innings as a starter. He throws quite hard (95-97), but seems to be a long way from ever being in consideration for a big league roster. He didn’t crack the mlb.com midseason prospect ranking update for the club. The Blue Jays will also receive cash considerations from Miami, as Koehler is in the midst of a season which is paying him $5.5M in his second tour through arbitration.

The Jays get Koehler, who has pitched exclusively as a starter in both AAA and the majors for the Marlins this year. In parts of six MLB seasons, Koehler has developed a bit of a walk problem, his BB/9 climbing from 9% in 2013 up to 11.2% this year, while his K% has hung around 17-19%. Just to put the icing on the cake, he’s also suffered through a career high 2.43 HR/9 in 2017, which is more than double what he’s ever experienced before. His changeup has been a particular problem, as hitters have slugged a whopping .941 on the pitch. We can’t all be happy about the juiced ball now, can we?

Koehler has pitched very well since going back to the minors briefly, tossing 41 2/3 innings of 2.16 ERA ball with a whopping 60 strikeouts, but his home run problems haven’t completed disappeared (he has given up six for a HR/9 of 1.3, which is still above average).

The Jays bullpen has lacked a long man, so maybe the Jays are hoping for a little regression on that long ball front to go with a few innings eaten up. Someone has to be there if Biagini’s starts don’t go entirely as planned. Or maybe Biagini has to be there if Koehler’s starts don’t go as planned. I’m open to ideas.

Koehler will also be eligible for another tour of arbitration next season, which gives the Blue Jays some options to try and hold onto him for depth. With this year’s issues and Estrada potentially leaving as a free agent, the club will certainly need a few options for the back of the rotation. Koehler is a serious non-tender candidate with that $5.5M salary, but the extra window will allow the Jays to try and work out a deal with him below that amount.

So farewell to Osman, we hardly knew ye. And lastly, remember, Koehler still eligible for the playoff roster, so no worries about not being able to use him when the team gets to the ALDS.

Lead Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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