Toronto Blue Jays agree to a one-year deal with reliever Rafael Dolis, the pitcher has spent the past four seasons with the Hanshin Tigers.
The Blue Jays agreement with Rafael Dolis will see him earn $1 million base plus incentives in 2020, while the deal also includes a $1.5 million team option for 2021. The hurler last appeared in the majors with the Chicago Cubs in 2013.
The native of the Dominican Republic spent parts of the 2011-13 seasons in the majors with the Cubs. In 40 relief appearances, Dolis accumulated a 5.48 earned run average while fanning 25 in 44.1 innings of work. Dolis would toil in the minors until taking his talents to Japan in 2016.
The 32-year would rejuvenate his career abroad pitching for the Hanshin Tigers of the Japan Central League. Dolis made 56 appearances last season earning a 5-4 record with a 2.11 earned run average and 19 saves in 57.1 innings.
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The two prior seasons Dolis saved 37 and 32 games respectively so the reliever has experience getting outs late in games. In 208 career games in Japan, Dolis owns a 2.49 earned run average, with 96 saves with a 9.9 SO/9 rate.
Dolis will join a bullpen that as of now consists of closer Ken Giles, Anthony Bass, Wilmer Font, Sam Gaviglio, Thomas Pannone, Jordan Romano and potentially Shun Yamaguchi if he fails to earn a spot in the rotation.
The hurler still owns a lively mid-90’s fastball which he compliments with a sinker and slider. He could be leaned on to close the gap to closer Ken Giles late in games and be utilized to close out games if Giles is unavailable.
This has the makings of another low-risk/high-reward signing that could bode well for the Jays if the right-hander’s success in Japan can translate back at the major league level. If the Jays find themselves out of the race at the deadline, they could also dangle Dolis as trade bait.
The Jays brain trust has done well in previous seasons with their bullpen reclamation projects, hopefully, Dolis will be another success story.