The Toronto Blue Jays went grocery shopping before the trade deadline, re-stocking the shelves of the pitching staff and utilities. The Blue Jays made deals to bring in RHP Anthony Bass, RHP Zach Pop, RHP Mitch White, and 2B/OF Whit Merrifield.
Now, these trades were not nearly as pretty and exciting as the Juan Soto, Josh Hader, or Frankie Montas deals, however, these pieces somewhat fit the puzzle as the Blue Jays attempt to secure a wild card spot this season.
Pitching was a top priority for the Blue Jays, and they went out and got arms; in fact, mlb.com has the Anthony Bass and Zach Pop deal ranked 9th overall Trade Deadline Deals. Is Blue Jays nation overly ecstatic about these deals? Not exactly…at least from my perspective, although, this was what the roster needed.
Blue Jays: What do these newly acquired arms bring to the table?
RHP Anthony Bass
Bass was actually with the Blue Jays in 2020 and was most recently pitching for the Miami Marlins. Bass left Miami with a 1.41 ERA in 44.2 innings pitched, only giving up one dinger, seven earned runs, and 10 walks. Bass struck out 45 hitters this year with Miami. Without digging deep into career stats, Bass can be instrumental and effective with this Blue Jays bullpen, offering multiple innings of work in relief. The 6’2” righty can pound the zone, throwing three different pitches, but relying heavily on the fastball which averages 95mph, and a good slider sitting 86-87mph. Bass has a club contract option for 2023, possibly giving another year of service to the Blue Jays.
RHP Zach Pop
Zach Pop, a familiar name in the Greater Toronto Area; Pop is from Brampton, Ontario, and an alumnus of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy Showcase, formerly known as “Tournament 12”.
Pop came over from the Miami Marlins, posting a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings. Although his numbers aren’t bold, we know we’re getting a guy with the ability to generate ground ball-outs. He can work the strike zone quadrants while deploying an effective sinker as an out-pitch. His fastball averages 96-97mph, and his slider sits 86-87mph. However, his Sinker is 82.3% most dependent off-speed. Pop will be an early-game guy, pushing 3-4 innings of relief.
RHP Mitch White
Stemming from the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen to the starting rotation and back, Mitch White has a lot to offer the Blue Jays. This guy helps both sides of the pitching staff, which is huge in a possible playoff run. White struck out 47 hitters for L.A. this season, walking only 19 with a 3.70 ERA. He carries five options in his arsenal, four off-speeds including slider, curveball, sinker, and changeup. He also pounds the zone with the ability to sit hitters and work ground ball-outs.
This may not have been as hyped as the David Price deal back in 2015, however, with solid playoff possibilities for the Blue Jays, these pitching pieces are a crucial gamble for any thought of success in October.