Chalk this up as a move I don’t quite fully understand.
According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays have decided to designate RHP Deck McGuire for assignment to make the necessary room on the 40-man roster for the recently acquired Brad Mills.
McGuire, as most know, was the Blue Jays first round draft pick (11th overall) in the 2010 MLB Draft, which was Alex Anthopoulos’ first as GM. As a college senior, he was seen as a “safe” pick by Anthopoulos, one the didn’t have the highest of ceiling but was also expected to get to the big leagues rather quickly.
Things started fairly well for Deck during his first professional season as he was moved up to Double-A after starting 18 games for High-A Dunedin. His development hit a bit of a roadblock in New Hampshire as he started the next three consecutive seasons, including this one, at the Double-A level.
McGuire was added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster at the end of last season to avoid exposure to the Rule 5 Draft, which he would have been eligible for. After he posted a sub-three ERA in New Hampshire over his first ten starts, he was promoted to Triple-A for the first time and has produced a mixed bag of results since. He started strongly and struck out ten batters on June 5th but over the past 28 days he’s posted an atrocious 6.67 ERA and 1.778 WHIP.
That being said, I still don’t understand why the Jays chose to DFA Deck McGuire. You can truly never have enough pitching and after already losing RHP Marcus Walden to a waiver claim to the Oakland Athletics I figured AA would be more cautious before making another young pitcher available over the waiver wire.
I would have preferred the Blue Jays DFA Darin Mastroianni, who has played for the Blue Jays this season but has yet to really contribute. In 128 career MLB games, Mastroianni’s WAR is -0.3 and this season his wRC+ is -16. Kevin Pillar isn’t quite as quick on the bases but overall is better on both sides of the ball and shouldn’t be toiling in Triple-A in favour of Mastrioanni.
The Jays could have DFA’d Mastro, added Mills to the active roster and optioned Chad Jenkins. Simple. But then again, maybe they thought removing Deck of the 40-man was inevitable anyways, and they wanted to load up with as many MLB capable players for this two month stretch run.
I still don’t like the move and wouldn’t be surprised to see another team take a chance on the former first round pick.