The Blue Jays announced on Friday morning that they would be selecting the contract of veteran right handed pitcher David Phelps.
Phelps and the Blue Jays came to an agreement back in late November on a minor league contract with an invite to camp. The veteran missed almost the entirety of the 2021 season with a lat strain in early May, which was a blow to the bullpen. Phelps had a strong start to the season last year as he surrendered just one run over 11 appearances (10.1) innings, while striking up 15. Unfortunately after taking the mound on May 5 and warming up against the Oakland Athletics he felt some discomfort, so the team took him out before throwing a pitch in the game. Phelps would not return to the roster for the remainder of the season.
Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet is reporting that the deal has a guaranteed salary of $1.75 Million, as well as future bonuses he could earn through appearances. If Phelps pitches in 35 games he earns an additional $250,000 and for every five extra games after that he will earn an another $250,000 up to $1.75 Million ($3.5 Million total).
Phelps has nine years of big league experience which includes pitching for the Blue Jays back in 2019 when he appeared in 17 games and had a 3.63 ERA over 17.1 innings pitched. He was traded at the MLB Deadline that year to the Chicago Cubs for Thomas Hatch.
The Toronto Blue Jays are selecting the contract of David Phelps as he is set to make the big league roster after missing almost all of 2021.
Over the span of his career, Phelps has appeared in over 300 games and has a 34-38 record with a 3.90 ERA. However, his career stats show two stories, as his numbers from 2012-2015 have a 4.29 ERA with a 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings, while his time from 2016-2021 show a 3.12 ERA and 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
The 35 year old has appeared in three games so far during Spring Training and has been roughed up in his last two appearances as he has surrendered three earned runs over 1.2 innings pitched, however, Grapefruit Season numbers are not indicative of how pitchers are actually progressing.
If Phelps can have any resemblance to how he started the 2021 season, he will be a dependable arm in what hopefully will be a long playoff run with the Blue Jays. What are your thoughts, do you see this as anything but a positive signing?