The Blue Jays added another arm to the pitching staff competition on Thursday, signing southpaw Tommy Milone to a MiLB contract with an invitation to spring training.
While Milone had a rough 2020 campaign between time spent in Baltimore and Atlanta, he’s had a fair bit of success in the past, and is certainly worth taking a look at throughout the spring. Last year he made nine starts between his two clubs, going 1-4 with a 6.69 ERA and a 1.564 WHIP over 39 innings. He was much better with the Orioles than after he arrived in Atlanta though, pitching to a 3.99 ERA and a 1.261 WHIP in Baltimore.
He was a reasonably steady arm in 2019 when he posted a 4.76 ERA and a 1.119 WHIP across 23 appearances, but the biggest difference was that be primarily served out of the bullpen for the Mariners that year. My guess is the Blue Jays would be more interested in his services in a role like that where he could offer a second southpaw out of the bullpen, and someone capable of throwing multiple innings in an outing.
All that said, it’s likely going to be an uphill battle for Milone to have a shot at making the Opening Day squad. The Jays would have to make room for him on the 40-man roster, which means they’d need to remove another potential asset in order to make it work. They’ve also got plenty of talented arms in camp that should be able to fill out the bullpen, and it’s hard to imagine Milone will be able to impress enough to land in the top eight or so. Realistically he hasn’t had a successful season since 2015.
Still though, there’s no such thing as a bad MiLB deal, and if Milone ends up serving as veteran depth in Buffalo, they’ll need some of that too.