If you were wondering what the Toronto Blue Jays were making room for with the mini-purge last week of their 40-man roster – well, you’ve got your answer.
Did you guess more bullpen depth? Because that’s exactly right.
The Blue Jays made a couple of minor moves today ahead of the impending off-season, claiming outfielder Scott Cousins from the Miami Marlins and right-handed reliever Cory Wade from the New York Yankees. The 29-year old Wade, who split time between the majors and AAA this season, will join an increasingly crowded Blue Jays bullpen which has seen additions of the likes of Brad Lincoln, Steve Delabar, and the recently converted Brett Cecil. If you’re going by the depth chart on the Blue Jays website, the addition of Wade would put the bullpen to 14-strong – who needs a starting rotation?
Wade features a high-80s fastball (occasionally reaching 90) that he uses about half of the time, complimented by a cutter, slider, and traditional curve. When he’s not busy giving up homers at a brutal 1.85-per-nine IP clip, the guy’s actually not bad: he’s shown good control over the last couple of seasons, putting up a 4.75 K/BB in 2012, and has seen his K/9 spike to 8.77. That’s not something that the Blue Jays should necessarily count on however, given that Wade only drew a 5.5% swinging strike percentage, which suggests that expectations of Wade being a potential artist out of the pen should be tempered.
Still, as far as depth moves go, it’s not a bad one. Wade is better than his 6.46 ERA in 2012 suggests (the HR/9 should dip a bit with the park change), and will likely join a rather large contingent of relievers in a competition to make the team out of spring train in 2013. It’s nothing particularly eye-popping, but as the team found out the hard way this year – healthy arms are always good to have around.