According to multiple sources, the Toronto Blue Jays are expressing interest in a number of free agent relievers with one of those pitchers reportedly being Adam Warren.
Emily Waldon followed up Robert Murray’s tweet by saying there are a handful of teams that have submitted offers to Adam Warren in addition to the Blue Jays. Behind Craig Kimbrel, Adam Warren is probably one of the more steady relievers available on the market. With his ability to provide length out of the bullpen, Warren makes sense for the Blue Jays and many other teams.
Warren is no stranger to the American League East, pitching close to 6 full seasons with the New York Yankees, the team who drafted him in 2009. Warren has also pitched with the Chicago Cubs in 2016. Warren was dealt by the Yankees to the Cubs for Starlin Castro in 2015 and was sent back to the Yankees in a deal with Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman. In 2018, Warren was dealt to the Seattle Mariners and finished his season with Seattle.
For his career, Warren has pitched 463.2 innings in the big leagues across 298 games. He’s also made 21 career starts with a career-high 17 in 2015. While he’s not overly flashy, Warren does feature a four-pitch mix with an average fastball velocity of 92.2 for the Mariners. He also throws a slider, curve, and changeup.
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Across his big league career, Warren has struck out 20.9% of batters faced, has a BB% of 8.2%, 43.9% GB rate, 3.42 ERA, and 3.84 FIP. He isn’t a spin rate darling like a lot of the pitchers the Blue Jays have added this off-season, but he has proven to be an effective reliever throughout his career.
If there’s one significant cause for concern from Warren’s 2018, it’s the fact opponents barrelled Warren up 9.4% (also had a hard hit percentage of 38.3%) of his pitches. That was in the bottom 6% of the league compared to 2017 when he was in the top 7% of the league at 3.3% (24.8% hard hit, top 4% of the league).
If the Blue Jays end up landing Warren, he could be a nice deadline piece to flip. After all, he’s been flipped in a few big trades either at the deadline or during the off-season. His ability to eat innings out of the bullpen also helps his cause. The Blue Jays have taken gambles on free agent relievers late in the off-season, even during spring training and the gambles have paid off.
To sweeten the deal, it wouldn’t surprise me if they offered Warren one year plus an option for a second year. That would only help his value to a team looking to acquire him at the deadline with that extra bit of team control.