The Blue Jays have added some pitching in the form of former Seattle Mariner David Phelps, who the team signed to a one-year contract Thursday night.
According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays have signed right-handed pitcher David Phelps to a one-year contract plus a club option for 2020. Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic and Jeff Passan of ESPN were also among the first to report that the option can vary heavily in value from $1 million to $8 million depending on his performance during the first year. The first year, which is guaranteed, will give Phelps $2.5 million.
According to Rosenthal, the option is worth $1 million if Phelps appears in “fewer than 30 games”, $3 million if he appears in between 30 and 39 games, $5 million if he appears in between 40 and 49, $7 million dollars if appears in more than 50 but finishes fewer than 40, and $8 million if he appears in more than 50 games and finishes over 40 games. Of course, these incentives only come into play should the option be exercised by the team.
Rosenthal also adds that the deal includes a slew of bonuses for the 2019 season. Phelps, 32, can earn an additional $125,000 each for 25, 30 and 35 games finished, and $250,000 each for 35 and 40 games finished.
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Though he had Tommy John surgery during the 2018 season, Phelps did have a solid showing with the Twins and Mariners in 2017, pitching to an ERA of 3.40 in 54 games, tossing 55.2 frames and striking out 62 while walking just 26.
In 2016, for the Miami Marlins, he pitched to an ERA of 2.28 in 86.2 innings, striking out 114 and walking just 38. His 2015 season saw him serve primarily as a starter, logging 112.0 frames and starting 19 games for the Marlins, boasting an ERA of 4.50 in 23 appearances.
Prior to pitching in Miami, Phelps, a native of St. Louis, pitched for the Yankees from 2012 to 2014, racking up 299.1 innings in 87 games, 40 of them starts. With 267 strikeouts and 119 walks, he pitched to a record of 15-14 in New York.
Though Phelps figures to be a solid bullpen arm, Jason Martinez of Roster Resource aptly notes that since he had Tommy John surgery near the end of March 2018, he likely won’t be ready for Opening Day. More to come.