Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports circulated a few rumours about the Toronto Blue Jays on Twitter yesterday.
First it was Morosi who shared that the Blue Jays and Tigers have touched base with the Texas Rangers regarding reliever Joakim Soria.
Soria, 30, has racked up 16 saves this season with the Rangers and in 29.1 innings has struck out 40 batters to along along with a sparkling 2.76 ERA, 0.80 FIP and 0.818 WHIP. He’s scheduled to earn $5.5 million this season and has a $7 million team option (with a $500,000 buyout) for 2015.
Traditionally relievers haven’t held a tonne of value on the trade market so the hope is that Soria could be acquired without the Blue Jays having to give up one or more of their top prospects (Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey).
Speaking of Sanchez and Norris, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports thinks the Blue Jays might have a couple of relief pitchers for this season already within their system.
Watching both Sanchez and Norris on MiLB.TV, I’ve been impressed with the hard throwing, opposite-armed pitchers. Sanchez, 22, has taken a step forward with his control in recent starts, which coupled with the movement on his pitches and electric velocity, has made pitching with the Blue Jays this year a legitimate possibly. I’d like to see him throw a few more strikes at Triple-A before he’s advanced but Sanchez could be with the team by early August.
Norris, 21, has been very good on the minor league circuit over the past 12 months and at this time last year was pitching for the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts. He started this season in High-A and was quickly advanced after a dominant first half. In Double-A he’s found early success and as a lefty who throws in the mid-90’s to go along with three potential plus secondary offerings he could be knocking on the door to the Show later this season. I doubt the Blue Jays would add Norris to their playoff roster* so I could see a situation where he finishes the minor league season and is called up in September to close the year without having to activate an option.
*if necessary (fingers crossed!)