Monday afternoon the Toronto Blue Jays announced they traded Justin Shafer to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations. Shafer did not appear to be in the Jays plans for 2020 as he was designated for assignment on November 20.
Justin Shafer was an eighth round pick by Toronto in 2014 and had seen the most success through the organization of that draft class. However, he’s now on his way to Cincinnati after the Blue Jays traded him in return for cash considerations on Monday.
Shafer had an up and own season with the Blue Jays bullpen in 2019 as on the surface his statistics looked good.
Shafer pitched in 34 games posting a 2-1 record with one save, a 3.86 ERA and was striking out batters at almost a one per inning rate. However, Shafer struggled with control as he walked 25 batters in 39.2 IP and had a WHIP of 1.66.
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The Blue Jays could be cutting ties a little early with a pitcher still trying to find his game in the major leagues. Shafer finished his 2018 minor league season with a 1.13 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP, while walking about a batter every three innings. Shafer had a similarly productive 2017 minor league season where he posted a 2.90 ERA and 1.18 ERA while again walking one batter every roughly three innings.
If management did give up on Shafer, obtaining anything for a player who was just designated for assignment has to be seen as a positive.
With the recent additions of Anthony Bass and Thomas Hatch the Blue Jays and Ross Atkins may have decided that Shafer wasn’t going to get a spot on the 40-man roster they wanted to have.
Would you have moved on from Shafer already? While it might be a questionable move from the Blue Jays who are in need of pitching, they’re going to have a few tough decisions with their 40-man roster. In this case, at least they got something rather than losing Shafer for nothing.