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Fresh off contract extension, Dustin McGowan to begin season on disabled list

Mar 29, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Dustin McGowan Reuters

Earlier this week the Blue Jays gave Dustin McGowan a two-year contract extension worth at least $4 million in guaranteed money despite the oft-injured right-hander throwing a grand total of 21 (terrible) innings since 2009.

In a fitting follow-up to that surprising move McGowan is now expected to begin the season on the disabled list … with a foot injury.

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star reports that McGowan had to shut down a throwing session yesterday because of plantar fasciitis, which is the same foot injury that has sidelined Reid Brignac in Rays camp and can linger.

I’d normally say this makes the extension look even more confusing, but that would be tough to do.

  1. cur68 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    You guys only just getting this story? Wowie. Old news. He’s been gimping around with this for about a week now. Its in his landing foot and, while it can linger, isn’t the end of the world. He’s a pitcher, not an outfielder, so the fix can be quite simple. Stop with the obsessive jogging, get better arch support, stretch the Achilles tendon better, and take anti-inflammatory meds. Plantar fasciitis is among the most common foot complaint on the planet after warts, so its not like his foot’s falling off or something.

  2. Mark - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    He actually got the injury before the contract extension.

    While I don’t like the extension, he basically needs to pitch 40-50 innings a year to justify it. Which for him might be difficult, but in reality it’s not a crazy idea. If McGowan is servicable, and that’s how low the bar is set, the Jays come out ahead. It’s not that hard to produce $1.5M in value. If he breaks out, which isn’t impossible (but not the likely outcome, either), the Jays end up with a fairly big bargain. Considering he’s a free agent and all. Coming off a good year I think we can all admit he’d make more than $1.5M given his history.

    Honestly, I have a bigger issue with the Jays giving up an actual asset for Jeff Mathis, and then guaranteeing him a bench spot while paying him more than $1M. Guaranteeing $1.5M to McGowan is an intriuging risk, but at least he has some upside. Unlike Mathis, who’s signed because he’s a veteran defensive catcher. Which makes it ok to overlook the fact he’s one of the 10 worst hitting position players since the 1950’s.

    I’d be amazed if he throws 150-200 innings over the 2 year period, but like I said, to earn back the $1.5M in value he basically needs to throw 40-50 innings. And they could be 5 FIP innings and he’d probably still earn his value. We’re talking about him needing to be worth what, 0.3 WAR to earn $1.5M in value?

    I didn’t like the contract when I first heard about it, and still don’t. But when you realize he needs 0.3 WAR to break even, it’s not exactly a head scratcher. The Jays (right or wrong) believe in his upside. If nothing else, it’s creative. Or crazy. I don’t know. But it’s not really that difficult to figure out why they did it. It’s fairly straight forward.

    • cur68 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      Yep. Signing Mathis has to be the biggest question mark move AA has made since he got the GM job, and that’s with the Rasmus trade factored in. I can’t help but think that this is some sort of Anti-Scioscia thinking behind it. Remember when Costanza decided to do the opposite in that Seinfeld episode? Ignore his first instinct and so on? I wonder if AA is doing something like that with Scioscia? If Scioscia thinks the player, especially if its a catcher, sucks, then he might be really good. If the catcher underperforms for Scioscia, then he’ll be a stud elsewhere.
      McGowan, on the other hand, is really quite straightforward: plantar fasciitis is a minor detail, like a hangnail or a small cut. Not that big a deal. Treat with tincture of time, over the counter meds, and some trivial changes. McGowan throws in the mid-90’s and has a nice array of breaking pitches, too. He has every chance of being a stud.

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