Blue Jays Sign Jon Rauch

The Blue Jays announced that they signed Jon Rauch to a one-year deal that pays the reliever $3.5MM in 2011 and includes a club option for $3.75MM in 2012. There's a $250K buyout for the 2012 option, so the deal is worth a total of $3.75MM in guaranteed money, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).

Rauch posted a 3.12 ERA with 7.2 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 37.7% ground ball rate in 57 2/3 innings for the Twins last year. The 32-year-old has always been a fly ball pitcher and the Blue Jays play in homer-friendly Rogers Centre. The combination isn't ideal, but the Blue Jays needed dependable arms after losing Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs to free agency. Rauch has made 50 appearances or more in each of the last five seasons.

The Blue Jays have already added Carlos Villanueva and Octavio Dotel to their bullpen this offseason.

The Twins did not offer the Type B free agent arbitration after the season, so they will not receive a pick for losing the 6'11'' hurler. The Blue Jays do not forfeit a pick for signing Rauch.

104 Responses to Blue Jays Sign Jon Rauch Leave a Reply

  1. TdotsFinest 4 years ago

    awesome pick up

  2. Guest 4 years ago

    Good, I was starting to worry Dotel would be their closer…

  3. love this signing!

  4. BlackBocks 4 years ago

    Solid pitcher but really nothing spectacular…his neck tattoo intimidates…but his fastball does not.

    As a Twins fan…I hope Toronto didn’t overpay for him.

  5. more signings just keep on coming.

  6. $3.5M is okay, but this deal gets a pretty big “meh” from me.

    • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

      It’s a good signing. Sounder than signing Fuentes in my opinion.

      • Sniderlover 4 years ago

        I would prefer Fuentes… but not on a multi-year contract.

        • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

          yes, if he could be had in 1-year deal with options. Definitely

  7. baseballz 4 years ago

    Great signing ! 3.5 won’t kill yah and he’s a good guy to have in case JBau tries to start more fights (joking)

  8. jwsox 4 years ago

    more of the twins sucking this off season

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      I would not underestimate the Twins, they are like magic, and have a knack of suddenly discovering very useful MLB players out of nowhere

    • 0vercast 4 years ago

      The Twins pen will be alright. They’re no better or worse than the Sox pen. They have plenty of new faces that are gonna be highly motivated and fighting for jobs. With a little luck, this may turn out to be the hardest throwing Twins pen in years with the likes of Nathan, Mijares, and Capps, and with hard throwers like Slama, Burnett, Hoey, Gibson, etc likely to see time in the pen in the near future.

      • Alexmullen4180 4 years ago

        Don’t forget the guy they got in the rule 5. Diamond I think his name is.

        • 0vercast 4 years ago

          I was only referring to the hard throwers. Diamond is more of a finesse guy (mid-upper 80’s) who will be competing with Perkins for the lefty long reliever spot in the pen.

          • twins33 4 years ago

            I’m thinking Diamond doesn’t have much competition, especially if his “competition” is Perkins. I see him making the team unless he absolutely sucks.

      • rbeezy 4 years ago

        that is a weak pen, with a lot of questions. Especially with the Staff they have. 3rd place finish for Minny this year.

  9. TdotsFinest 4 years ago

    the club option is the best part of the deal. you can easily trade him at the deadline with that stipulation is his contract, just like we did with alex gonzales

  10. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    The fact that they got him on a one year deal, especially with the bloated contracts other relievers have gotten, makes this deal pretty damn good.

  11. Adil 4 years ago

    like it…especially the 1 year with team option part

    if matt lidstrom gets 2 yr 6.6 mil, rauch at 1 yr 3.5 (2y 7.25) is a good deal

  12. Gurvir Nijjar 4 years ago

    OH YEAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. joeybw 4 years ago

    Wow, Rays, wow.

    This was out of your price range?

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      yes… yes it was.

    • I keep waiting to see who they are going to sign before tossing in the towel on ’11… but now who is gonna close? Farnsworth? McGee (I am actually ok with that scenario, but knowing the Rays, they wont want to rush him/start the arbitration clock).. ugh…

  14. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    So Jays Bullpen is starting to look someone decent, although I still have my doubts, especially if some of the younger arms don’t step up ..

    essentially it will be made up of most of the following

    Dotel, Rauch, Purcey, Jansen, Roenicke, Villanueva, Frasor, Rzepcynski, Litsch.

    • ukJaysfan 4 years ago

      Can’t forget Shawn Camp in that list…maybe Carlson too? It’s actually starting to look crowded in there….

      • Guest 4 years ago

        Maybe the could trade one of them to the Cubs….we still have too many SP, even after trading gorzelanny to the nats.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        I feel the need to throw Winston Abreu and Alan Farina’s name in the hat as well. Just a gut feeling.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        holy crap i forgot Shawn Camp!!! definitely put him in there. What was I thinking.. Carlson, I don’t know. Never really liked him except when he fought posada.

        • boyofsummer 4 years ago

          Also in the mix: Stewart, Roenicke, Mills, Lewis, Cordero, Ledezma.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            I listed Roenicke… and i doubt very much they move Stewart out of the starting rotation in the minors to be a big league reliever, especially after the year he had..

            Lewis exploded after he went back down to the minors, Cordero and Ledezma are both long shots

        • BlueJaysFan4Life 4 years ago

          can never be short on arms…can always throw one in a trade down the line too. good thing is most are short term commitments

    • Sniderlover 4 years ago

      I think they may need a reliable lefty in there. Unless Zep cracks the rotation, he is likely the long man. I could see Purcey setting up or be a lefty specialist but he’s not proven yet.

      BTW, how in the world did you miss Camp in there? 😛

      Decent bullpen, nothing special but it’s good enough for a stopgap.

      Good signing.

  15. yabud 4 years ago

    Good signing Jays, Fantasy Rauch owners worldwide cheer as their mid-end holds guy now has a chance to earn some saves.

  16. yabud 4 years ago

    Doubtful on Litsch in the pen IMO, All the comments from Farrell suggest he will be the leading candidate for the 5 spot… I don’t see Litsch being an out of the pen arm at all.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      I can see him as a long man in the pen, in my opinion, if they don’t opt to move Stewart up to that role, I think they are probably better off having Rzep in the rotation rather then Litsch… The fact of the matter is, Jesse isn’t all that good.

      • TdotsFinest 4 years ago

        i do think Zep is better suited for the pen because he seems like he cant go deep into games. his fastball/slider combo are good and devastating on left handers. i think he can possibly be the next scott downs

        • lazerball 4 years ago

          I think Rzep would be be great out of the pen as he’d be able to use his devastating slider more frequently. But it seems like an awful waste to turn a potential good middle of the rotation arm into a loogy. I suppose the jays are so stacked in pitching depth that it probably wouldn’t hurt them long term though. I’d still like to see what he could do over a full season, although I’m not sure it would be good to have him blocking Stewart either, depending on how well Stewart develops (potential number 2 arm from what I’ve read).

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          While I agree that to date, he attempts to avoid contact and strike out batters, which deters his ability to go deeper in to games, I think that he has the stuff to induce a lot of ground balls. It could be more of a mindset with him, as he matures he could realize that a ground out is better than a strike out and adjust the way he attacks hitters..

          I just don’t see Jesse Litsch as a strong option for the starting rotation. . Perhaps Rzep does end up in the bullpen. But I think for the time being they are better off letting him start, perhaps building some value. I rather him keep the spot warm for Stewart and Mcguire than anyone else.

          • TdotsFinest 4 years ago

            have u seen Litsch lately? he has realy leaned out. im not sure if thats any indication of how hes going to pitch next season but at least he seems motivated. hopefully he returns to form.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Yah, I was actually at the raptor game when him wells, snider and lind we’re there.. He did lose a lot of weight, while being in better shape may help him stay healthy, I doubt it improves his pitches.. His fastball is just too straight, and non of his secondary pitches are plus to have hitters off balance..

            I mean Marcum has a pretty lowsy fastball, but his location is supreme and his change up is unreal. Jesse needs that plus pitch in order to succeed, and I just don’t see him as anything more than a long man at this point.

          • aaforprimeminister 4 years ago

            I have to respectfully disagree with part of that statement. Although Jesse may not blow guys away with the fastball last year, I think the movement on his pitches was very good. His two-seam fastball always moved well, which is why two years ago they tried to teach him a four-seam fastball (which he was getting up to 94 on occasion), since it seemed that everything he threw was moving all over the place. I have to admit that sometimes it looks like his curve ball was flat, but I always though his change was a good pitch and his cutter really frustrated batters. In terms of control, he has walked fewer people than Marcum and he should get even better at hitting his spots in the zone as he gets older (I don’t know the stats but that’s what seems to have happened with Marcum). Also, if he’s completely healthy and recovered from his injuries he may get the velocity on the four seamer back up again (it was much lower last year). All in all, I think Jesse could surprise a lot of people this year since I personally believe that his stuff is better than Rzepczynski (who doesn’t have much going for himself outside of that wicked sweeping slider). Although I realize not all Jays fans agree with my opinion

      • 2UGGLA2BINTO 4 years ago

        …I would rather see zep as the 5th starter…stewart as our long man…..and Jesse in a trade.

        • TdotsFinest 4 years ago

          i just dont think u can trade jesse right now because he has no value. give him a shot in the 5th spot and then trade him when Stewart is ready

      • yabud 4 years ago

        Agreed, but I would think they would look to move Litsch rather than having him in the pen. His arsenal just doesn’t match the role, except as a mop up guy. His value lies in being a starter.

  17. Like this if you can’t wait for the baseball season to start!

  18. twins33 4 years ago

    I wish we could have kept him instead of being stuck with Capps.

    • 0vercast 4 years ago

      Yeah me too, I liked Rauch. But that price is pretty steep, $3.5M. I’m a little surprised he got that much.

      Jays fans will like him. He’s a solid addition to any pen and he seems like a good guy.

      • twins33 4 years ago

        I can take that price when most predict that Capps is going to get close to 2x more than that in arbitration.

  19. d32123 4 years ago

    Wow I thought for sure the Rays were gonna get this guy.
    As a Yankees fan, this makes me happy.

    • TdotsFinest 4 years ago

      why does this make u happy as a yankees fan?

      • d32123 4 years ago

        If one team was to get a little better in the AL East by adding Rauch, I’d rather it be the Jays than the Rays, who might actually be battling with the Yankees for a playoff spot.

        • 2UGGLA2BINTO 4 years ago


          • TdotsFinest 4 years ago

            i dont think he checked the yankees record against the jays last year before he posted that comment.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            i think his point was the Rays have a better chance at PO than Jays
            which is undeniable

          • PJaysW 4 years ago

            The Jays can still improve and take wins away from the stankees

        • bluejaysfan1990 4 years ago

          If you think the Rays are a better team then the Jays, especially after all the players the Rays lost, I think you’re sorely mistaken. I think the Jays will be closer to the Yankees then you think, they might not make the playoffs but they will battle.

          • d32123 4 years ago

            I am guaranteeing that the Rays will do better than the Jays this season. If I were picking most playoff appearances over the next 10 years, though, I’d have to pick the Jays. I like your GM.

          • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

            You’re psychic are you? Pick me some lottery numbers please.

            While I would have to relucantly agree with you, you can’t guarantee they will do better. How many people honestly thought The Giants would win the World Series?

          • d32123 4 years ago

            I actually did but that was just pure luck so I’m not going to take credit lol. The playoffs are almost completely random rarely does the favorite going in win it.

          • BlueJaysFan4Life 4 years ago

            I don’t think the jays are quite ready to compete with the yanks…however, they do have a solid chance to finish ahead of tampa. Tampa suffered some big losses but they still have a very solid rotation minus garza. evan longoria is one of my fav players. losing crawford really hurts them defensively.

  20. johnsmith4 4 years ago

    Looks like AA is going after draft picks like he did the past season. Like last season, he is deliberately going after guys who will be Type B free agents at the end of the year. Davis 2.6 pts shy of a B. EE is 8 pts away from a B. Rauch is 3.1 pts away from Type A. Dotel 2.4 pts away from Type A. Remember what he did with Buck, Gregg, & Gomzalez. Gave up on Overbay & Lewis because no chance to turn them into draft picks IMO.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      EE’s position change will hinder his ability to achieve type B status, but good pull on the rest..good info.

    • Sniderlover 4 years ago

      Isn’t Davis under control for a couple of years? If Dotel has a solid year and becomes a Type A, then it is not a good thing. Hopefully he can be good enough to stay at the Type B status.

      Jays could load on a few more picks next year. Frasor and Camp are FA as well.

      • johnsmith4 4 years ago

        Yep…see your point on Davis. Changes the supporting details a little. But, my key message remains the same.

  21. okbluejays 4 years ago

    Wow this is exactly what I was hoping for! I said a few days ago on here that I thought the Jays should pass on Fuentes and try to grab Rauch for a 1 year deal. Awesome move by AA, and it’s at a good price with a CLUB option! Rauch/Dotel/Frasor isn’t a bad combo at all, and then they have a lot of other quality arms for short and long relief mixed in there. Rzepcynski definitely needs to be tried in the rotation before being put in the pen, his stuff much too good to be stuck in the bullpen right away. To me he should get a shot at the 5th spot over Litsch who I don’t really like that much. If it doesn’t work out with Zep, then you have other options that can come in and do a decent job.

    • I don’t understand this hate on Litsch… The guy has done nothing but pitch well his entire time in the big leagues. he may not look the part, but who cares as long as he acts the part. There are alot worse options in the bigs than Litsch…

      • okbluejays 4 years ago

        I don’t hate him or anything, but for my money i’d roll with Zep first, as he has way better stuff than Litsch. If that doesn’t work out, then you have a guy in Litsch that can step in and be servicable. He’s a back of the rotation type starter, not much more…but he can be a decent #4/#5 and it’s always nice to have a guy like him around since injuries will happen.

        • TdotsFinest 4 years ago

          i really think litsch and marcum have the same “stuff”. hopefully litsch becomes as good as he was

          • Nothing against litsch but, if you think he has the same “stuff” as Marcum we must be watching two different games.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            not the same stuff, Marcum defintely has better control and changeup, but Litsch does limit walks well and has a decent fastball. Not a huge difference between the two’s stuff

          • Sniderlover 4 years ago

            Marcum has one of the best change-ups but it took him a while before he became that good. Litsch did have 2 pretty good seasons before getting injured.

            Litsch gets a lot of hate for no reason.

          • i agree. he aint exciting in terms of stuff, but he has a decent repitoire of cutters, a changeup and a slider. i remember a couple years ago when cito had to tell him to start throwing a real straight fastball. his velocity actually wasnt bad after that (like 92-93).

            i like pitchers who simply find a way to get the job done

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            i know seriously
            he was pretty fantastic in 2008, and BABIP, LOB, and HR/FB makes me believe it wasn’t luck-based

      • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

        He’d be a lot better if he could stay healthy. At this point, The Jays have better options for the 5th spot.

  22. 2UGGLA2BINTO 4 years ago

    …You can now add a healthy Richmond to the bullpen list…

    • I don’t think Richmond will ever be in the Majors again, he’s the second coming of Josh towers.

  23. Jays will have a lot of leverage by March 30 or so, I realllllly like this signing, Dotel frightens me as “The Closer”, and I believe Purcey is actually the diamond in the rough here, he adjusted very well to the pen, and wouldn’t be surprised if he saw some closing time early in the season, he has the stuff.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      Meh. 3.97 BB/9 and 3.67 FIP doesn’t exactly inspire me to see Purcey as a closer. Perhaps if he can cut those down, he can be given a chance in the second half.

  24. andhicks 4 years ago

    Beautiful work AA.

    Go Jays!

  25. BooJays33 4 years ago

    as far as litsch pitching well goes…i am reminded of gustavo chacin or josh towers…smoke and mirrors guys had chance at sustainable success because there stuff sucked.

    litsch as a number is a horrendous option. it’s been reiterated on this msg board enough…give Rzep a go it seems plausible he turned the corner after his stint in the Arizona fall league.

    Good signing of Rauch, you can justify paying him a little more then you otherwise would because you get the team friendly option for his second year.

    Go Jays…for what its worth I think the Rays still have a better chance at the playoffs in 2011 then the Jays do..Still got Price Shields Hellickson Davis in that rotation so I agree with the Yankees fan on that one.

  26. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    so Dotel and him are fighting for the Closer spot now?

  27. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    so Dotel and him are fighting for the Closer spot now?

  28. Great pickup by the Jays, this man can pitch.

  29. JaysFTW 4 years ago

    Great acquisition! Our BP does not have as many question marks as it did a couple months ago.

  30. TdotsFinest 4 years ago

    by no means have i ever been a jesse litsch fan but i really think hes going to have a bounce back year. he was rushed back last year because our 5th spot in the rotation was a revolving door and of course his numbers were going to be terrible. they gave him no time to settle into AAA before coming to the majors. the time to heal from tommy john surgery is a full year and i think he was pitching before then too. lets hope they all pitch well ebcause its a great problem to have.

  31. TdotsFinest 4 years ago

    its true

  32. PJaysW 4 years ago

    Is everybody low on Chad Jenkins?

  33. LOL. Please don’t presume to tell me what I know or dont know about pitching. I was a pitcher for the better part of my life and made it as far as rookie ball as well as pitched in a Semi Pro league until the age of 28. Now if you knew much about pitching, you would realize that Litsch has the type of stuff to be an average #4 and an excellent #5. He pitches in the 91-94 range with his fast ball consistantly, has a plus change up and on the overall very decent control with all his pitches. His “stuff” is actually better than Marcum’s, and he has a similar make up. Bad luck and injuries.

  34. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    when he was healthy, he posted a 118 ERA+

  35. d32123 4 years ago

    small sample size

  36. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    wow, was it like 9-8? Gigantic sample size there

  37. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    could you give us some real reasons why you think Litsch is so much worse than Marcum? you haven’t justified your case at all

  38. Like I said, the only reason you dont like him is because he doesnt “look” the part. You do realize, that there are probably as many pitchers that look like him as there are that look like your top end Athlete in Baseball.

  39. Sniderlover 4 years ago

    Apparently. His stats are better than some may think. He just had a ridiculiously high H/9 due to the fact he is a groundball and most likely had bad defense. 2.94 FIP in Lansing and 3.97 in Dundein. Both of them being lower than his ERA.

    He has the stuff and could be a mid-rotation starter down the line. Similar to McGuire.

  40. johnsmith4 4 years ago

    It was just speculation on my part. But, heard AA confirm it on the radio two days ago.

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