Blue Jays Claim 1B, Andy Wilkins from White Sox

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In an interesting turn of events, the Toronto Blue Jays have made a waiver claim today. The club announced that it has acquired first baseman, Andy Wilkins from the Chicago White Sox.

Wilkins is a 26-year- old lefty bat with some power. He hit 30 HR and 38 doubles in AAA last season with a line of .293/.338/.558

His power is certainly tantalizing. Though in limited time at the big league level (according to Fangraphs.com) his bat control seemed to be an issue. His contact rate was just 69.3% to go along with a swinging strike rate of 15.8%. It seems as though Blue Jays fans are used to their club bringing in guys with great power potential, but also carry a high risk of swing and miss. Granted, there is rarely the perfect combination of the two. Those guys aren’t exposed to potential waiver claims.

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Wilkins also displayed a UZR/150 of 1.4 during his big league time at 1B (80 innings). For his minor league career, he brings a RF/G (Range Factor/ Game) rating of 8.23.

This may seem like an odd move on the part of the Blue Jays. It would appear that the club already has a dearth of first basemen who will be lurking around Buffalo with (according to their website) Justin Smoak and/or Daric Barton and even Matt Hague and Jake Fox. It is difficult to see just how or where Wilkins fits into this equation. Could we be looking at a potential depth piece? Could we be looking at more? It is hard to say right now, but of that group only Barton/Smoak are left-handed options, and with a decidedly right-handed line-up in the big leagues, having depth on that side of the plate may come in handy.

The other interesting piece to this puzzle is that the Blue Jays picked him up from the Chicago White sox, who just  claimed Kyle Drabek. Drabek had been out of options and Toronto tried to sneak him through waivers last week, but the White Sox plucked him off the line and will likely give him an opportunity out of their bullpen. The move was oddly reminiscent of a similar waiver claim around this time last season one which netted the Blue Jays Darin Mastroianni from the Minnesota Twins, only to see the Twins claim outfielder Kenny Wilson, who was waived to make room for Mastroianni, in the process.

Hopefully this one pans out a little better for the Blue Jays than the Mastro deal did.

Next: Recap: Blue Jays drop spring home finale to Orioles

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