The Toronto Blue Jays are going to pay Dustin McGowan $600,000 this season. It was to be McGowan's final season before becoming a free agent. But that is no longer the case, as the Jays and McGowan have agreed to terms on an extension.
McGowan will earn $1.5 million in 2013, and $1.5 million in 2014. The Blue Jays hold a $4 million option for 2015, which they would presumably exercise if McGowan is healthy and somewhat effective. But that's a long way off.
See, the thing about Dustin McGowan is that he's made five major-league appearances since 2008. All of them came in 2011. His 2008 season came to an end with major shoulder surgery. Then there was knee surgery. Then there was continued recovery from the shoulder surgery. Then there was more shoulder surgery. McGowan's body has dulled some knives, and it's a minor miracle he was throwing hard with the Jays last September.
By the way, this spring, McGowan's dealing with a foot problem. It's not bad, but it's another thing on a long list of things.
Considering what McGowan has been through - all that rehab ain't easy - you have to admire his resolve, but you also have to wonder about this extension timing. Says Dustin Parkes:
No matter the terms, signing a player with McGowan’s injury history to a multiple year contract makes little sense. If this is a tactic by the Blue Jays management to avoid another team picking McGowan up on waivers, generally, signing a player to a contract that’s so bad that no one else wants to take it is on is not a good strategy.
However, I don't share Parkes' opinion. The timing's weird, but the money's relatively small, and it wouldn't be hard for McGowan to be worth $3 million over the next two years (after this one). FanGraphs thinks Lyle Overbay has been worth $3 million over the last two years. McGowan is a huge health question mark, but he still runs his fastball into the mid-90s, and he still has three other pitches. He could be a decent starter, and with his stuff, he could probably also be a heck of a reliever.
A Dustin McGowan extension announced on the same day that the New York Mets officially re-signed Chris Young. Here's to a Monday of second (and third, and fourth) chances.
We'll close with a fun fact:
RT @theScoreTicker: Blue Jays sign Dustin McGowan to an extension. He is the longest-tenured athlete in Toronto pro sports (2000).— The Score (@theScore) March 26, 2012