Blue Jays sign Felix Doubront to minor league deal, get much needed depth
After getting his unconditional release from the Chicago Cubs on March 28th, it didn’t take long for Felix Doubront to find a new team. The Toronto Blue Jays plucked him off the free agent wire on Thursday morning by agreeing to a minor league contract with Doubront per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Felix Doubront is just one year removed from a break-out campaign with the Boston Red Sox that saw the left-hander post an 11-6 record with a 4.32 ERA, a 3.78 FIP, and a 7.7 K/9 ratio during their championship run. However, a late season demotion to the bullpen led to some animosity between Doubront and the Red Sox late in 2013 and it carried over into 2014 when the lefty struggled to a 6.07 ERA and subsequently was traded to the Chicago Cubs. Once in Chicago, Doubront turned things around to the tune of a 3.98 ERA over 4 starts down the stretch.
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That magic didn’t carry over for Doubront this spring though, and he struggled once again, allowing 17 hits and 9 earned runs over just 7.2 innings of work for the Cubs. Out of options, the 27-year-old was granted his release when it became clear that he wouldn’t make the Opening Day cut in Chicago.
Still young, the signing has the potential to be beneficial for a Blue Jays team that has been looking to add some pitching depth ever since losing starter Marcus Stroman to a torn ACL. That injury set in motion the need to have both Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris in the Opening Day rotation. Coupled with the trades of Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin in the Josh Donaldson deal, the Blue Jays were fairly depleted in the upper minors should an injury arise. Doubront will join Randy Wolf, Johan Santana, and Jeff Francis as veterans that could receive a call later this season.
Of course, there is much more upside with Doubront as opposed to the other left-handers mentioned above. Still just 27-years-old and with some notable talent, Doubront just needs to put a bad year behind him and check his attitude at the door. Still pre-arb eligible, the Blue Jays could also control Doubront for three more seasons if he proves that he can rebound strong. Given that he’s also had success in the American League East, the Jays have little to lose here by inking Doubront to a minor league pact.
I know our Eric Elliot was championing this signing during our latest podcast, when news of his release became known.
Mark this one down as another potential ninja move for Alex Anthopoulos.
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