Blue Jays recruit Gausman targeting championship in Toronto
Kevin Gausman joined the Toronto Blue Jays to get his hands on a World Series championship, saying "I want to go somewhere and win" following his blockbuster arrival.
The World Series-chasing Blue Jays lost American League (AL) Cy Young winner Robbie Ray in free agency but replaced him with All-Star ace Gausman.
Gausman and the Blue Jays – who heartbreakingly missed out on last season's playoffs despite recording 91 wins – finalised a five-year, $110million contract on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Gausman spent two seasons with the San Francisco Giants, where he played a key role in their franchise-best 107-win campaign in 2021.
"It just made sense the closer it got to decision time. This is the team I think I'm going to win the most with," Gausman said on Wednesday.
Gausman ended the regular season with a career-high 2.81 ERA as the Giants claimed the best record in baseball after fending off the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League (NL) West title.
It was San Francisco's first division crown since 2012, with Gausman boasting a career-high 227 strikeouts prior to the playoffs.
Gausman finished the year behind only NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes in Stats Perform's Strike+ metric, which measures which pitchers rack up both whiffs and called strikes.
"I feel more confident in myself now than I ever have in my career," Gausman added.
"It's just about being really good at what you're great at. My command has gotten better, and I just have a better overall feel for who I am and what I need to do to have success."
Gausman has also spent time with the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds in MLB.
"The impact that pitchers like Kevin can have in an organisation beyond the scope of winning is massive," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said midweek.
"His experiences, first and foremost his character, his reputation [are] as strong as they come in baseball. So, all that we would ever ask is for him to be himself."