Top 10 Blue Jays Relievers of All Time
Paul Quantrill, who spent six of his 14 major-league seasons with the Blue Jays, joins former manager Cito Gaston and one-time outfielder George Bell as consultants. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)
Paul Quantrill is probably the greatest Canadian Blue Jay (Russell Martin will likely change that soon though). Quantrill was drafted in 1986 but opted for college. He was drafted and signed in the 6th round by the Red Sox in 1989. Similarly to Downs, Quantrill had been a starter before he came to the Jays and also as with Downs, the Jays were the team that made him into a reliever exclusively. He made his debut with the Red Sox in 1992. He was traded in 1994 to the Phillies and again in 1996 to the Blue Jays in exchange for Howard Battle and Ricardo Jordan.
It was an astute swap by the Jays as Quantrill provided 6 years of quality relief whereas Battle and Jordan were not missed. Unfortunately, Quantrill’s Jays tenure ended with the opposite sort of trade. The Jays sent him off to the Dodgers along with Cesar Izturis for Chad Ricketts and Luke Prokepec.
1997, Quantrill’s first as a full time reliever, was a leap forward and defined the rest of his career. He put up a measly 1.94 ERA with a 3.19 FIP while throwing a large amount of innings (88). His home run rates and walk rates both shrank. That year and the next four years saw Quantrill become a dependable middle inning workhorse for the Jays. Quantrill started 1999 late with a broken leg which was caused by a snow mobile accident. Yup, he’s Canadian.
All told he appeared in 366 games, had a 3.03 ERA and a 3.74 FIP with the Jays as reliever. He didn’t rack up strikeouts (5.71 K/9) but did keep his walks very low (2.4 BB/9) as well as the long ball (0.67 HR/9). His gmLi was 1.44.
Among Jays relievers he ranks 4th in WAR, 6th in IP, 3rd in BB/9, 9th in HR/9, 5th in SDs (shutdowns).
Quantrill pitched his last game in 2005. He has stayed a part of the game over the years, most notably with the Canadian National teams. Quantrill will be a coach for the Canadian team at the 2015 Pan-Am games. Quantrill is a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.