According to Scott Mitchell of TSN, the Toronto Blue Jays have claimed pitcher Joel Payamps off waivers from the Boston Red Sox. The 26-year old right-hander spent last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks making a pair of relief appearances. Payamps was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox earlier this offseason.
The hurler has four relief appearances under his belt at the MLB level surrendering three earned runs while fanning five in seven innings of work with the Diamondbacks. The native of the Dominican Republic broke into pro ball with the Colorado Rockies in 2011 before spending the past five seasons with Arizona.
In 145 minor league games including 119 starts, Payamps sports a 41-43 record with a 4.15 earned run average while striking out 7.8 batters per nine innings on the farm. This past winter he impressed in Dominical League Winter Ball going 2-1 with a minuscule 1.38 earned run average in eight relief appearances spanning over 13 innings with the Estrellas de Oriente.
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It is doubtful that Payamps remains on the 40-man roster long before the Blue Jays have to attempt passing him through waivers to free up a roster spot. If he can clear waivers, Payamps will likely act as pitching depth for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
The Blue Jays bullpen is relatively good shape after adding Tyler Chatwood and Kirby Yates thus far this offseason. They will also lean heavily on Rafael Dolis and Jordan Romano late in games in 2021 coupled with Thomas Hatch, Ryan Borucki and Julian Merryweather.
Furthermore, if the teams add another starter before Opening Day, that will hopefully also bump either Tanner Roark or Steven Matz into the bullpen. Both hurlers have struggled in the rotation of late so perhaps a change of scenery to the bullpen could reinvigorate their ability to get major league hitters out on a consistent basis.
The Blue Jays have been one of the most active teams this offseason so it is no surprise they continue to add depth pieces as the offseason winds down. You can never have enough arms and Payamps will provide just another layer of insurance somewhere in the organization.