The Astros released former Blue Jay Anthony Gose on Tuesday, who is trying to make his way back to the big leagues as a pitcher these days. It’s a complicated scenario, but might the flame thrower be worth a look in a reunion with the Jays?
This whole idea is likely to face some ridicule, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s a cinderella story to explore for the Blue Jays with former top prospect, Anthony Gose. In case you’ve missed it, Gose gave up his pursuit of being a big league outfielder and instead decided to focus on pitching. He’s got some serious talent with the ability to hit triple digits with his fastball, but unfortunately he’s yet to harness his control to the same degree.
On Tuesday, Gose was placed on outright waivers by the Houston Astros, who picked him up from the Rangers awhile ago in the Rule 5 draft. If he clears waivers, the Astros will have to offer him back to the Rangers, as per the rules of the Rule 5 draft process. However, any other team in the big leagues has the option to put a claim in at this time. With that said, should the Blue Jays explore the possibility.
I’ll admit it’s a long shot, and probably a big one at that, but I can’t help but find the idea somewhat intriguing. There could be some serious value to be had by employing this version of Gose, assuming of course that he can develop as a pitcher to a greater degree than he ever did with a bat in his hands.
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What makes the scenario more unlikely is the fact that any claiming team, the Blue Jays included, would have to place Gose on their own 40 man roster. We’ve already seen how the Jays own 40 man is getting tighter after they designated Ezequiel Carrera for assignment when Seung-hwan Oh was added on a free agent contract.
However, I can’t help but think there could be some creative value there, and in today’s MLB game that sorta thing is happening more all the time. He’s no Shohei Ohtani to be sure, but imagine if he could harness his pitching abilities enough, even to serve as a LOOGY (left-handed specialist). Armed with a big fastball, it’s not out of the question to think he could potentially handle that role someday. Left-handed pitchers get an especially long leash in baseball, so Gose should have some time to prove himself somewhere, one way or another.
But imagine if he could do that, and be available as a late-inning pinch runner/defensive replacement? Suddenly the quietly important role of left-handed specialist could also bring a second piece of underrated value, Blue Jays fans should be familiar with the speed he possesses, even at age.
However, as I admitted above it’s a long shot that the Blue Jays will be able to find room for him, even if it would be a great story. In his long spring appearance for the Astros, Gose walked the only three batters he faced, showing off his characteristic wildness. For a contender like the Astros, that was enough to cut him lose, or at least expose him to waivers for either a return to the Rangers, or to another interested party.
It would require the Blue Jays making another move with their 40 man and Gose presumably beating out other non-roster invitees like John Axford, Al Alburquerque, and Craig Breslow, but it would be a lot of fun wouldn’t it?
I can’t wait for the regular season to begin.