Was it a mistake by Yankees to let Chad Green join Blue Jays?

Yankees reliever Chad Green with wife Jenna at Norton Sports, Louisville.

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Reliever Chad Green agreed to join the Yankees’ AL East rivals the Blue Jays in a two-year deal worth $8.5 million, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. Toronto had to get rid of left-handed pitcher Matt Gage so they could make room on their 40-man roster. According to reports, there may also be options for retaining Chad Green for 2025 and 2026 in the contract.

In May of last year, he hurt his elbow while pitching for the Yankees and missed the rest of the season. However, letting him go could prove to be costly for the team.

In 2022, the right-handed pitcher had a 3.00 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15 innings, which was a good start. Chad Green felt pain in his right forearm and it forced him to leave the Yankees’ game against the Baltimore Orioles on May 19. Green, who is 31 years old, had surgery for Tommy John in June of last year after playing 14 games for the Yankees.

“He’s on that very short list of outstanding relievers in our sport,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the injury. “He’s been so consistent. He’s such a rock for us. He’s just a consistent pitcher, person, so reliable and an important part of our team and that room.”

The Yankees acquired him from the Tigers for Justin Wilson in December 2015. During his seven years with the team, Chad Green played in 272 games, starting 24 of them. He had a 33-22 record, a 3.17 ERA, and 11 saves. In 383 2/3 innings, Chad Green has struck out 494 batters and walked only 96. In 2021, he beat his own records with 10 wins, 67 appearances, 83 2/3 innings, and a 3.12 ERA.

The Yankees feel that their bullpen has enough depth and power to keep going without Chad Green. The team has Lou Trivino, Michael King, Wandy Peralta, Ron Marinaccio, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Clay Holmes. This winter, they signed right-handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle in free agency. Also, this year, other pitchers like Clarke Schmidt, Greg Weissert, and Matt Krook are likely to come out of the bullpen. The club recently added right-handed pitchers Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez to its 40-man roster.

But there is always a chance that the Yankees will have more injuries after he leaves. Even their reliever Scott Effross is out for the whole year of 2023 because he had Tommy John surgery. Lucas Luetge, a left-handed pitcher, was traded to the Braves earlier this winter. Zack Britton, a veteran left-handed pitcher who also has injury concerns, could leave in free agency.

If Chad Green can come back from elbow surgery later this year and get back to his old form for the Toronto Blue Jays, it will help them put a tough challenge to the Yankees in their division.

Chad Green shunned Toronto in 2010

It was a kind of Toronto return for Chad Green. He was first picked by the Blue Jays in the 37th round of the 2010 draft. He was still in high school at the time. But he decided not to sign and went to the University of Louisville instead. Three years later, the Detroit Tigers picked him up in the 11th round of the draft.

Chad Green’s deal with Toronto offers security to him as well as the team. The 31-year-old will make $2.25 million next season. After 2023, though, things get a little more complicated. The Blue Jays are allowed to keep the reliever for three more years for $27 million. They will have to pay $1 million in added bonus too. But if they don’t, the former Yankee gets a player option worth $6.25 million, plus $2 million in bonuses, for 2024.

If both sides turn down their options, the Blue Jays get a two-year, $21-million club option with a $1-million bonus for 2024-25.

Green will probably miss at least the beginning of next season as he heals from Tommy John surgery.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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