Feb 25, 2014; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Walden (67) poses for a photo at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former Blue Jays Pitcher Marcus Walden Claimed Off Waivers By Oakland Athletics

The Toronto Blue Jays lost a little bit of minor league pitching depth on Wednesday, as the Oakland Athletics have claimed right-hander Marcus Walden off of waivers, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The move comes just one day after Walden was designated for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Munenori Kawasaki.

The loss of Walden, while small, will be a strong lesson for Alex Anthopoulos to learn. The 25-year-old right-hander was called up on April 5th after the Blue Jays designated Jeremy Jeffress for assignment. Initially, that roster spot was to go to Chad Jenkins, but since Jenkins was on the 40-man roster and had been optioned down to Buffalo at the end of the spring, he hadn’t spent the prerequisite 10 days in the minors before being open for another call-up. In their haste to fill the roster spot, the Jays plucked Walden and he sat on the bench for 10 days until Neil Wagner could be summoned up.

A 7-year minor league veteran of the Blue Jays system, Walden was drafted in the 9th round of the 2007 draft and spent his first 5 seasons pitching at A-Ball or lower. In 2013, he finally made the jump to Double-A and threw respectively with a 3.71 ERA despite a middling 4.9 K/9 ratio. Over his career, Walden owns a 32-33 record with a 3.73 ERA, a 2.9 BB/9, and a 5.4 K/9 ratio.

Walden also received his first invitation to spring training this past February, but was unimpressive, giving up 5 runs and 10 hits in 6 innings of work.

It’s hard to see what role he can play in Oakland outside of organizational depth. However, it could just be Billy Beane teaching Anthopoulos a lesson for not knowing the option rules.


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  • Andrew van Laar

    That was pretty silly of AA… I could be forgetting something crucial, but why didn’t he just go with a 7 man pen and leave Walden in AAA? That way he never would have been put on the 25 man and had to pass waivers. Correct me if I am wrong… I don’t remember everyones situation at that time.

    • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

      I don’t know if a team can play with 24 guys or not but because they decided to DFA Jeffress they could have went with a 7-man pen but still would have left them with a 3-man bench. I’m assuming AA figured no one would touch Walden if they moved him off the 40-man but in hindsight they should have called up Romero for the time being if they absolutely needed an arm, knowing that he would likely slide through waivers untouched, or even if someone claimed him that would be cause to celebrate.

      • Andrew van Laar

        Thats exactly my thought. If he was just going to sit on the bench, call up someone who you want to get rid of or someone you know for sure no one will touch. Just doesn’t make sense. It’s not like I think Walden is a huge piece of our future, but he was a capable depth bullpen arm and we lost him for nothing for no reason. It actually makes me upset that AA let this happen. It’s like me forgetting a semi-colon to close a string of code at work. Unacceptable.

        • RyanMueller

          Or here is a good idea….what for it…just jeffress until you could actually call up wagner or jenkins. This was knee jerk reaction by AA. Remember the last knee jerk react he had landed us ja happ….never do that again aa…never