Blue Jays claim Juan Oramas off waivers from Padres
With all the wheeling and dealing that the San Diego Padres are doing in the last week, the Toronto Blue Jays had to find a way to get in on the action. Of course, that mean the Blue Jays had to do it on terms that were comfortable for Alex Anthopoulos (read here as “at no cost to the Blue Jays”).
According to a team release via Twitter, the Blue Jays have claimed left-hander Juan Oramas off waivers from the Padres and added him to the team’s 40-man roster.
Juan Pablo Oramas was designated for assignment by the Padres on December 16th, coincidentally in a move to make room for former Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow on San Diego’s 40-man roster. By picking him up, the Blue Jays add him to a 40-man roster that currently sits at 38 players.
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At 24-years-old, Oramas has ranked as high as 12th on Baseball America’s Top Padres Prospects list, doing so after the 2011 season. However, he had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and only made 22 appearances between 2012 and 2013 while recovering from the surgery.
While he’s made most of his appearances as a starter in the minor leagues, scouts tend to feel his long-term future is in the bullpen, where he can pitch more freely and work off of the swing and miss stuff he posses (9.5 career K/9 in the minors). According to Ducksnorts.com (yeah, I struggled to find a good scouting report), Oramas gets most of his K’s via solid off-speed offerings, which he uses to maximum potential since he doesn’t possess an overpowering fastball. Ducksnorts also notes that he has a flyball tendency, which isn’t necessarily a good mixture when coming to Rogers Centre.
Oramas has performed well in the minors over the course of his career, holding a career 3.40 ERA, a 9.5 K/9 ratio, and a 3.3 BB/9 mark. And while he does tend to lean toward flyball tendencies, Oramas has managed to keep the ball in the year, surrendering just 51 home runs over 638.2 innings of work.
However, those marks took a hit with struggles at the Triple-A level, where Oramas was knocked around for 23 appearances (21 starts), posting a 5.61 ERA and allowing 14 home runs in El Paso. Granted, it was his first real taste of Triple-A and it came in the Pacific Coast League, but it still wasn’t much to write home about.
With that in mind, this transactions screams of the kind of move Alex Anthopoulos makes frequently during the offseason. I could easily see the Blue Jays designating Oramas at some point this winter in order to sneak him through waivers. Given that he’s somewhat of an unknown quantity and coming off of a down season (albeit in the PCL), the Blue Jays are willing to take a flyer on him, but will likely want to see a bit of him in Buffalo before considering him a useful bullpen piece.