Matt West claimed by Blue Jays, who in turn designate Cory Burns for assignment


While the Toronto Blue Jays continue to look for ways to improve their big league bullpen, the team remains active on the waiver wires as well, hoping to find that diamond in the rough. The team one such claim on Wednesday, plucking Matt West off waivers from the Texas Rangers according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.

At 26-years-old, Matt West has spent the entirety of his professional career in the Texas Rangers organization. Drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft as a third baseman, West made the conversion to the mound in 2011 and hasn’t looked back. He’s made 83 career minor-league appearance (2 starts), posting a 4.07 ERA with a 9.8 K/9 ratio and a 3.2 BB/9 mark.

According to Fangraphs, West throws primarily a fastball, change-up, and curve, occasionally mixing in a cutter. He runs the fastball up to an average velocity of 94.9 MPH and gets good separation with his change-up,which he tosses at 85.3 MPH.

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Unfortunately, it appears it became a game of numbers for West, who the Rangers designated for assignment last week to make room for another return of Adam Rosales. Now he comes to the Toronto system, which is knee deep in relief fodder, having already claimed Preston Guilmet, Scott Barnes, Juan Pablo Oramas, and many minor league free agents, including Wilton Lopez.

While West has a long-shot of making the Blue Jays bullpen out of spring training, he remains an interesting option as a depth piece. With options remaining, he could make a name for himself at Triple-A Buffalo and possibly earn a second trip to the Major Leagues at some point in 2015. He saw his first Major League action Rangers this past season, making just three appearances and surrendering 3 runs on 6 hits, a walk, and 3 strike-outs over 4 innings of work.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated right-hander Cory Burns for assignment. Burns himself was selected off of waivers by Toronto on September 28th.  The Blue Jays will try to sneak him through waivers, but it’s doubtful that he’ll go unclaimed at this point in the winter, with teams willing to make claims with open roster spots.