Blue Jays sign Daniel Schlereth to a minor league deal


The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent lefty reliever Daniel Schlereth, as Baseball America reported on Monday. His last Major League appearance came with the Detroit Tigers in 2012

Some housekeeping is in order with this week’s Blue Jays news cycle as a minor league signing reported on Monday by Matt Eddy of Baseball America slipped briefly under the radar. Daniel Schlereth is your newest member of the Jays.

Schlereth, a left-handed relief pitcher, was cut by both the Detroit Tigers and Chicago cubs in 2015 and has not pitched in a Major League game in over three years.

After pitching just a handful of minor league innings for the Cubs in 2015, his last season involving any meaningful workload came in 2014 between Detroit and Pittsburgh’s AAA affiliates in the International League.

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In 36.1 innings that season, Schlereth allowed a 5.94 ERA and walked 29 batters. Even at the minor league level, his walks have been a critical flaw. His 8.8 K/9 is a nice baseline to operate from, but a career minor league BB/9 of 5.9 (6.9 at the AAA level) is difficult to work around.

Across four Major League seasons from 2009 – 2012, Schlereth pitched 93.0 total innings and earned a 4.35 ERA.

The Alaskan and former first-round pick in 2008 continues to find work because he throws baseballs with his left hand, and that’s fine, as there’s rarely a such thing as a ‘bad’ minor league contract. In 2008 and 2009, he was regarded as a top-5 prospect in the Diamondbacks and Tigers organizations as well (In December of 2009 he was involved in the three-way Max Scherzer deal between Arizona, new York and Detroit).

There admittedly isn’t much to see with this signing (though, here we are talking about it for the sake of wholeness). A lefty with past potential is always something, though, as becoming a lefty specialist takes far fewer tricks than becoming a well-rounded right-handed relief pitcher.

A best-case scenario for Toronto here would be Schlereth surprising in camp and being a relatively stable left-handed arm towards the bottom of the AAA Buffalo Bisons roster.