The Toronto Blue Jays recently re-signed Long County native Dustin McGowan, who also was recognized by the Baseball Writers Association.
According to toronto.bluejays.mlb.com, on Dec. 12, McGowan signed a one-year contract with the Jays for $600,000 — a $150,000 increase from his 2011 contract. By signing the right-hander, Toronto avoided a possible arbitration issue with McGowan, who is in his 11th year with the club.
Late last season, McGowan was placed back in the pitching rotation. He started five games and in those five starts, the 29-year-old hurler went 0-2, finishing the season with a 6.43 ERA. This season was a comeback year for McGowan, who had not seen major-league action since July 8, 2008, when he had to leave a game against the Baltimore Orioles due to pain in his throwing shoulder. Since that day, the former Long County Blue Tide star has undergone multiple surgeries and several overcome setbacks.
Earlier this month, McGowan also was recognized by the Toronto Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association when he received the John Cerutti Award. The annual award is presented by sports writers to the player who exemplifies goodwill, cooperation and admirable character on the team. Cerutti, who played six seasons with the Blue Jays, died in 2004 at the age of 44 and was honored by the writers when they changed their “Good Guy Award” to bear his name. The award is McGowan’s second major accolade since becoming a Blue Jay. He also was named the team’s Most Improved Player in 2007.
McGowan was drafted in the first round by Toronto in 2000, having been a star pitcher at Long County High School. He has a career record of 20-24 with an ERA of 4.80. He has played in 80 games and started 60 as a major league pitcher. He has 305 strikeouts.