Ringing in New Year’s with a bang, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos bolstered the back end of his bullpen with a familiar face, re-acquiring Jason Frasor from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor league pitchers Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb.
The move represents the extra right-handed reliever that Anthopoulos was looking to add before the start of the season, but it also likely signals the end of the Jays’ off-season bullpen overhaul.
“[Anthopoulos] basically said with Santos, Oliver, Casey and me, that he’s comfortable with the back end and so am I. I like that foursome,” Frasor said in a conference call to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi and the rest of the media. “I think there are four guys right there you can rely on.”
Frasor, the Jays’ all-time leader in relief appearances, struggled as a member of the White Sox after being traded along with Zach Stewart prior to the deadline for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen, a move that eventually set up the trade that brought Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Prior to the 10 runs on 20 hits in 17.2 innings that he managed with Chicago, however, Frasor was quite a reliable option for the Jays and will add to the bullpen in 2012.
What’s impressive about this move, though, is that Anthopoulos was able to get a proven, Major League addition for two minor league pitchers that are far away from making any noise.
Jaye, a 17th-round pick by Toronto in 2010, just turned 20 years old and completed his first season of pro ball. The right-hander logged 54 innings in 13 games (nine starts) for Bluefield, compiling a 3.00 ERA (4.07 FIP) with 49 strikeouts and 18 walks. After initially being considered, Jaye was omitted from our top 50 prospects list this year but would have been mentioned when we profiled the list of players that just missed the cut.
Armed with a low 90s fastball coming out of high school, Jaye worked on his changeup this past season as well as throwing strikes more often. He is still young and has good stuff, but will need to work on attacking hitters, trusting his stuff, and getting stronger to increase his velocity. Jaye was the better prospect of this deal, but likely won’t be missed by a lot of Jays fans.
Webb, a 22-year-old right-hander from Kentucky, spend the entire season with the Lansing Lugnuts after finishing the 2010 season there. In 18 games (12 starts) he managed a 5.59 ERA (4.40 FIP) in 66 innings after giving up 53 runs (41 earned) on 80 hits with 51 strikeouts. We ranked him at No. 45 on our pre-2011 top 50 prospects list because of his aggressive and competitive nature, though he is still a work in progress and will require patience.