Blue Jays Trade For More Bullpen Help, Say Goodbye to Rowdy Tellez
By Dave Litman
It was inevitable. The Rowdy Tellez tenure in Toronto was coming to an end, and the Blue Jays bullpen was still in dire straits. This is a trade that simply makes sense.
The Blue Jays have sent Tellez to the Milwaukee Brewers for another solid relief arm, Trevor Richards, and minor league starter Bowden Francis.
Richards arrived in Milwaukee earlier this season, along with shortstop Willy Adames in a trade with Tampa. In his time as a Brewer, Richards posted a very respectable 3.20 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, along with a 25:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19.2 innings.
While Richards was used mainly in middle relief for Milwaukee, I would expect he’d slot into some more high-leverage situations for the Blue Jays, as manager Charlie Montoyo has struggled to find anyone outside of Jordan Romano and the newly-acquired Adam Cimber who can handle late-inning duties without too much of a high-wire act.
More from Jays Journal
- Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. open to a long-term contract
- Blue Jays: Snapping cold streaks at the right time
- Who Should the Blue Jays Extend First: Guerrero, Bichette or Manoah?
- Blue Jays now hold the top Wild Card spot, and yes that’s a good thing
- Blue Jays may have the tools to use a Bullpen Day
As reported by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the 28-year-old Richards also has three more years of club control, another benefit as the Jays continue to rebuild the bullpen.
For Tellez, somewhat of a fan favourite in some quarters, it’s the end of an up-and-down stay with the Toronto organization. He arrived with a bang in late 2018, hitting 6 doubles in his first 3 games, the first time that had been accomplished in the majors in over 100 years. He quickly endeared himself to Toronto fans.
He went on to bat .314 with a .943 OPS that September, with 4 home runs and 14 RBIs in only 70 at-bats. He wasn’t able to recapture that magic in 2019, however, sinking to a .227 average with a .742 OPS.
The shortened 2020 season saw a bit of a resurgence for Tellez, as he batted .283 with 8 HRs in just 35 games. But he was never able to get off the ground this year, struggling to a .209 average before being sent down to the minors a month ago.
The Brewers are no doubt hoping that Tellez can be their answer at first base, where the team has struggled this season, with the likes of Travis Shaw, Daniel Vogelbach, and Keston Hiura. This brings up one last very interesting observation: