Jul 12, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Juan Perez (57) throws in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Blue Jays 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY SportsAs any Toronto Blue Jays fan can attest, the brain trust in the front office does a lot of work in November and December jockeying the roster in order to add as much roster depth as possible. Last season, MLB Trade Rumors was even clambering for Major League Baseball to change their waiver rules because of the way the Blue Jays manipulated the system to their advantage.
So begins the first step of that dance. As reported by Shi Davidi at Sportsnet, the Blue Jays have outrighted lefty Juan Perez off the 40-man roster, and signed him to a Minor League deal with an invite to spring training.
The 35-year-old Perez, who signed a Minor League deal with the Blue Jays last season before receiving a mid-year call-up, had an interesting start for the Blue Jays in 2013. Over the course of his first 14 appearances, a total of 22 innings pitched, the lefty gave up 4 total runs, none of which were earned. He struck out 21 batters in the process, while walking just 6.
However, the wheels fell off after that point. Over his next 5 appearances, Perez would be rocked. In 9.2 innings pitched, he surrendered 13 runs (all earned), while striking out 12 and walking 9. Perez would be removed on August 9th with an apparent elbow injury and placed on the 60-Day DL the next day. The final diagnosis was a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.
While he avoided Tommy John surgery and will likely spend the winter rehabbing the injury, the Blue Jays opted not to hold a roster spot for Perez, outrighting him to Triple-A Buffalo and opening up his spot on the 40-man roster. Maybe we’ll see him again next season, but for now it looks like we sucked the last bit of lightning out that bottle.