McGowan Shut Down

I wish Dustin McGowan all the best, and I hope he’s able to once again bounce back from this latest set back, but as I said then, signing the oft injured pitcher to a contract extension, even one at the low price of $3 million over two years made absolutely no sense whatsoever. And with this latest bit of news, the timing of the deal, while the Blue Jays already had him locked up for 2012, remains completely baffling to me.

Update: The Toronto Star’s Richard Griffin has quotes from manager John Farrell.

As he was starting back up, we felt like, not uncommon, particularly in a case like his, that he might feel, after a shutdown to get the arm going, to feel some discomfort in there or some tightness. But it persisted and he never seemed to get any freeness to it. We used precautionary measures to get him in for an MRI and that’s what it revealed.

Comments (35)


  2. You did say but lets wait till the end of the contract and see if there’s surplus value there. Only way we can really judge it fairly.

  3. Absolutely agree! String together some consecutive starts w/out falling apart and then the team can think extension … maybe! But yea, this one was baffling from the get go and this only reinforces why. It’s a head-scratcher …

  4. Sigh…

    (my comment was a bit too short, eh? Why, I oughta…)

  5. *Facepalm.

    Least surprising news ever.

  6. It’s chump change to the Jays. Guy deserved it for being a trooper.

  7. I disagreed with your sentiment about the contract…

    I figured they had a good idea of his health status….

    It looks like they signed this deal because they didn’t want to be Carpentered again…

    Ironically, Capenter screws them again!

    Right decision, wrong result…
    Wrong decision, right result…

  8. Most baffling contract since Ben Francisco.

  9. Dustin Mcgowans body is not made for the riggers of major league pitching.
    Time to move on.

  10. Sheeeeeeeeiiiiiiiitttttt

    ~Clay Davis.

    Seriously though, let’s not shit the bed yet, it might not be totally disastrous. We have no reason to assume otherwise with McGowan, but maybe we’ll get lucky this time. I know with hockey there is a long term injury out for contracts, but I’m not sure about baseball.

  11. Honestly while it’s another setback for him innings wise for him and the club it’s still got a chance to work out rather well. With Hutchison, Alvarez and possibly Drabek being on limited innings for the year if he’s ready to go for the 2nd half of the season then all is good. McGowan was never going to pitch the entire season anyway so being delayed really doesn’t hurt the club at this point.

  12. Come on “absolutely no sense whatsoever”?

    It may not work out, and it may have been a bad deal, but of course it makes a certain kind of sense. You don’t have to agree with the decision, but it is not indefensible.

    The Jays thought from ST that they were getting the real Dustin back, and if they waited and he had a few solid starts under his belt, he probably would never sign the contract he did. In return for getting him cheap, the Jays agreed to take on the risk of his health. As it turns out, that may have been a bad gamble. But the deal makes sense when you consider that we’re not the Yankees. We’re more like the Rays, and we need to be creative and aggressive in our decisions. If we feel we know what we have, we need to accept some risk and try to lock guys up early in order to get them cheaper. It’s the exact same logic that had us sign the Yunel/Romero/Bautista deals. It appears not to have worked out on this one, and thankfully, this is the cheapest by far.

    So say you don’t like the deal. Say you think it’s not a good risk/reward scenario. But don’t say it makes absolutely no sense. Because in the contezxt of the way this team has operated the last few years, it makes perfect sense.

  13. i’ve been banging the jake peavy drum since the latos deal fell through.

  14. Possible that the contract extension was put in place so that he wouldn’t be claimed off waivers?

  15. Lets bitch and moan about money that is not coming out of YOUR pocket and make some BS debate over a roster spot. Yes he is injured, the money doesn’t matter, oh ya it does to you bloggers and radical fans on twitter thats all, The contract was totally done to try and sneak him thru waivers

  16. If the Yankees gave Michael Pineda an “unnecssary’ contract extension in the $10-$15 million range, it would have been risky, but people could have understood it.

    The fact that many are shitting on AA’s thought process, as though it’s indefensible, is because it’s an unprecedented contract much like Jose Bautista’s. How many pitchers have been extended under these circumstances?

    You have continually acknowledged that the monetary value is minimal and that it won’t prevent the Jays from doing other things. Where else is the risk, then? The risk is in the few million the Jays gave to McGowan.

    Fuck the goodwill stuff and fuck the “this will prevent a waiver claim” stuff. All these arguments do is obscure the issue.

    While the upside is nowhere near Bautista, Longoria or Moore, the fact is that McGowan’s contract is the least risky of the four contracts. Period.

  17. I would rather sign him to a deal then let him walk and become the next Chris Carpenter. when Healthy McGowen has great stuff I see no reason not to keep him around and hope he gets over it.

  18. Haven’t read an “AA is a ninja” post in a while.

  19. When you’re wrong as often as Parkes is, any slight indication that you might end up being right about something is a huge victory.

    Also, it should be noted that Parkes’ claim that he said the signing made “absolutely no sense” in his original post isn’t really true. In that post he said it “makes little sense”. But what’s wrong with a little exaggeration if it makes you look smarter, right?

    Classic 20/20 hindsight thing here. I still say it was the right decision to sign McGowan at the time. It’s not a lot of money, and it spoke volumes for the quality of the people running the organization, which can only help in the future. If McGowan contributes on the mound (and there’s still plenty of time for that), it could very well be a steal.

    It’s inflammation. Nothing structural. Let’s not write McGowan off yet.

    • Agreed.

      Next time you want to jerk yourself off in public, maybe remember that you were against the Bautista signing.

  20. I don’t think that the deal was done so as to be able to put McGowan on waivers in the hopes that other teams will not claim him. That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

    More likely, I think, the deal was done with the hope that McGowan could have a relatively healthy and decent season in 2012. If that does happen (and there is still time for him to have a decent season) his two year $3M contract would be a relative bargain and would represent value as a trade chip during the off-season. As this past off-season demonstrated, there are always many, many teams looking for starting pitching. The possible availability of a starting pitcher with 2 years of control and only a $3m commitment would be very intriguing.

    Call it what you will: A gamble. A $3M coin flip… But I still think that you are wrong when you say that the extension made no sense at all. The deal could still very well provide value to the Blue Jays.

  21. Perhaps AA jumped the gun, but like all GM’s, he acted with the best interests of the team as his sole concern. McGowan was and remains an asset that AA did not want to see leave for nothing. Had McGowan broken camp with the big club and pitched strongly after a few starts, one questions if such a team-friendly extension would have been on the table.

    Yes, McGowan is a terrible injury risk. But AA knew that. He also knew that there are examples of pitchers with a similar injury histories recovering and enjoying success. Carpenter won a Cy Young and Trevor Hoffman saved a boatload of games after labrum and rotator cuff issues. AA also knows that these are pie in the sky examples as they represent the cream of the crop in terms of success stories. Which is why AA tempered his enthusiasm and was willing to bet that McGowan could one day aspire to become a 0.8 WAR pitcher.

    The Blue Jays are not a great benevolent society. To equate the McGowan extension as some form of compensation for him working hard in rehab for the last 3 years is fucking silly. McGowan received compensation during the rehab process. The extension was and remains a cost-control effort by AA to secure some starting pitching depth.

  22. I think they gave him that contract knowing it was bad to keep all of us occupied. It’s misdirection so we won’t talk about how dumb they look for underbidding on Darvish.

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