Like I mentioned in a post yesterday, there are a ton of options for the Jays to rebuild their bullpen, especially with the wave of players that were just recently non-tendered by their respective clubs on Thursday. This installment will take a look at right-hander Alfredo Aceves and one guy Jays fans might recognize, Taylor Buchholz.
RP Alfredo Aceves – 2010 Club: New York Yankees
Initially signed as an amateur free agent by the Jays in 2001 before having his contract purchased by Yucatan in Mexico, Aceves was one of the Yankees’ top relievers in 2009. That year, he went 10-1 with a 3.54 ERA in a whopping 84 innings, all in relief. He posted a K/BB of 4.31 as well.
Aceves posted a 3-0 record with a 3.00 ERA in 10 games this past season before a strained lower back in mid-May sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
He relies on his fastball and cutter, but can also throw his curveball and changeup for strikes.
According to Bronx Baseball Daily, the Yankees want to bring Aceves back for 2011. Aside from him being a decent right-hander to pick up at league minimum salary, wouldn’t it be nice just to take something away from the Yankees?
The Jays could possibly even sign Aceves to a minor league contract, because Aceves broke his left collarbone in a bicycle accident a couple of days ago and will require at least three months to recover.
RP Taylor Buchholz – 2010 Club: Toronto Blue Jays
For those of you that are wondering how Taylor Buchholz could be a player to watch for the Jays even though he closed out 2010 with them, Buchholz was claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox when the Jays took him off their 40-man roster. The Red Sox then decided against tendering him a contract because they did not feel it was worth giving him a raise through arbitration.
That being said, there is no reason why Buchholz could not come back to the Jays organization in 2011.
Initially picked up by the Jays as a harmless waiver claim from Colorado, Buchholz had a lights out 2008 season where he posted a 2.17 ERA in 66.1 innings, along with a 0.950 WHIP and 7.6 K/9.
He had to undergo Tommy John surgery, and missed all of the 2009 season. Buchholz made his major league return with the Blue Jays in September, allowing no hits in two appearances.
He can throw a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider, though he hasn’t thrown his slider since the 2008 season.
He represents another low cost, high reward pickup for the Jays. Buchholz made $1.06M last year, and could surely be signed for less than that, likely as a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.
As I mentioned back in October, it would be interesting to see what kind of spring Buchholz could have, as he could be a dark horse for a major league job.