Alex Anthopoulos has struck the relief pitcher market again. The Toronto general manager has followed up his signing of Maicer Izturis with yet another move, trading for reliever Jeremy Jeffress.
Jeffress was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations. The 25-year-old Jeffress was designated for assignment by the Royals on Friday November 2nd.
Jeremy Jeffress was one of the pieces acquired by the Royals in the deal that sent Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, along with Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jake Odirizzi. At 25, Jeffress has pitched 7 professional seasons, mostly in the minors and almost exclusively as a reliever.
Jeffress has pitched sparingly in the major leagues over the course of the last three seasons. The 25-year-old is 2-1 with a 4.89 ERA and 34 strike-outs in 38.2 innings pitched. He owns a 29-32 record in the minor leagues, with 4.31 ERA, 10.0 K/9 ratio.
It is hard to imagine him breaking camp with the Blue Jays, even as a reliever. His swing and miss stuff is excellent, but his history of control problems, evidenced by his 5.4 BB/9 ratio in the minors and his 7.0 BB/9 ratio in limited major league action insinuates that he needs more time to refine his control.
Without options, this is a curious move by the Blue Jays unless they think they can fix him with offseason work. They’ll likely try to sneak Jeffress through waivers later this winter.