The Toronto Blue Jays have signed pitcher Dustin McGowan to a two year extension with a club option. The oft-injured right hander entered spring training without a guaranteed spot in the Jays' rotation, but now at least two years of job security. McGowan will earn $1.5m in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The deal includes a $4M club option for 2015.
McGowan was supposed to be part of the Jays' young pitching core. He had a breakout campaign in 2007, when he had a 4.08 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 169 2/3 innings. He regressed some in 2008, and on July 26, 2008 had to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. McGowan's recovery took much longer than expected and on July 9, 2009 he suffered a knee injury that required another surgery.
As the bad luck piled on, he rehabbed from the two surgeries into 2010, hoping to return that season. He was again set back in June 2010, as doctors discovered a torn rotator cuff that required surgery. After a long road back, McGowan made his first appearance in the majors in over 3 years on September 5, 2011. He made 5 appearances in 2011.
McGowan removed himself from a minor league start on Sunday because of plantar fasciitis. However the Blue Jays must have faith that McGowan's medical problems are behind him, or at least they're willing to take a minor risk with a two year extension.