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Blue Jays sign Yusei Kikuchi to three year, $36 million deal, per report

The Blue Jays hit the pitching market on Saturday when they signed Yusei Kikuchi.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

With the Giants signing Carlos Rodon to a two year deal yesterday, the starting pitching free agent market got pretty thin. While the top of the position player market remains REALLY interesting with names like Carlos Correa and Freddie Freeman, there is not a robust amount of rotation help out there with Spring Training just days away.

The Blue Jays are really well positioned for the long-term with a young stable of position player talent like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer and Bo Bichette and a retooled rotation led by Hyun Jin Ryu and Jose Berrios that also already added Kevin Gausman. Now, it looks like they grabbed another one of the better arms on the market.

While Kikuchi didn’t have a spectacular 2021 season where he posted a 4.41 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 157 innings on his way to a 1.7 rWAR season, he was still considered to be arguably the best left-handed rotation arm on the market. Moreover, he will not have to be a frontline guy in Toronto as they already have a great pitching staff in place. His job will be to give the Blue Jays quality innings and he can do that reasonably well.

Sit tight, everyone, the free agent market is heating up.