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MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays Stay Busy, Acquire Jeremy Jeffress

I’m not sure if the rest of the MLB has received the memo yet, but Alex Anthopoulos wants relief pitchers – maybe even all of them.

The Toronto Blue Jays GM kept busy today on the bullpen front, acquiring 25-year old reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman:

Apparently, the deal was made with eight minutes remaining on some sort of deadline, so it looks like Anthopoulos was really getting some work done today.

So, what did the Blue Jays end up getting in trading for Jeffress? Does the phrase “hard-throwing, controllable young arm with strikeout ability” sound familiar to you? As Heyman points out in his tweet, Jeffress is a big arm, with a fastball that has averaged 95.7 MPH over his short major league career so far. The right-hander has had excellent strikeout numbers in the minor leagues (10.0 K/9 across 421.2 minor league innings), and threw just 15.2 innings over 13 appearances in ’12 for the Royals.

The results? Well, it’s a mixed bag. Jeffress did show some of his potential, striking out batters at a 8.78 K/9 clip in ’12…but he also walked batters at the same rate. The unsightly 1.13 K/BB ratio over his 38.2 career innings is one of the major reasons why his ERA stands at 4.89 – he’s a bit of a loose cannon out there.

Still, at just 25-years old, it might be something that the Blue Jays can still fix. A big, strikeout arm who keeps the ball in the park (0.2 HR/9 in MLB, 0.6 in minors), even if he has trouble keeping it around the plate? I think the team will be happy to take that for nothing.