Blue Jays sign free agent Canadian pitcher Scott Diamond


The Toronto Blue Jays have signed 29-year old Canadian left-hander Scott Diamond to a minor league contract which includes an invitation to 2016 spring training. Diamond should be the first of several minor league or waiver additions made by the Blue Jays as they look to establish pitching depth at the AAA level. 

Originally a free agent amateur signing by the Atlanta Braves in 2007, the native of Guelph, Ontario has not appeared in a Major League game since 2013 with the Minnesota Twins, for whom he made 57 starts over three seasons. His 2012 season represents his career best at age 25, as Diamond posted a 12-9 record over 27 starts with a 3.54 ERA. That season was good for a FanGraphs WAR of 2.2.

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He spent the 2014 season at the AAA level between Minnesota and Cincinnati, where he struggled terrible to a 6.57 ERA over 123.1 innings pitched. This past season he was with the Tampa Bay Rays organization, where he fared much better at the AAA leval with a 3.71 ERA over 150.1 innings.

Diamond typically offers a fastball, curveball and changeup as his primary pitches, with his heater topping out around 89 MPH. When he’s at his best, his curveball will be his strongest pitch, but Diamond will be one of the last pitchers in baseball to create a swing-and-miss. For his Major League career, he has struck out just 4.2 batters per nine innings.

Regardless, there’s always room for a Randy Wolf type of arm at the AAA level, and that’s what Diamond projects to be. It’s overwhelmingly unlikely that he sees any time in the MLB this season, but with injuries and spot starts, I suppose stranger things have happened. Along with the trio of moves from yesterday, expect to see the Blue Jays remaining active with these types of signings as they work to build up depth at the AA and AAA levels.