Heading into Tuesday, we all knew that there as going to be some news coming out surrounding both Julian Merryweather and Junior Fernández, a pair of righties that the Toronto Blue Jays recently designated for assignment. Both players were entering their seventh day on waivers, so they either needed to be sent outright to Triple-A or be given up to a claiming club.
In a tweet posted by the club itself, we have our answers about both pitchers and where they're headed.
We'll get to Fernández in a bit, but for now let's focus on Merryweather, who has been claimed off of waivers by the Chicago Cubs and ends his Blue Jays career with a whimper.
Acquired by the Jays back in 2018 as the PTBNL in the Josh Donaldson trade with Cleveland, Merryweather never seemed to truly find his footing in Toronto.
He came over to the club as a decent minor league starting pitcher who had struggled with consistency but had shown enough to warrant the Jays interest in him.
Upon his acquisition, the Jays immediately turned him into a pitcher more focused on functioning as a reliever rather than a starter, but that still was not enough to tap into any sort of long-term success.
Merryweather broke into the majors in 2020 as a 28-year-old and showed a bit of promise out of the gate, including an impressive high-90s fastball, but ultimately pitched in just 13 innings in the COVID-shortened campaign.
In 2021, he looked largely the same; striking out lots of batters but succumbing to the injury bug on more than one occasion, missing the majority of his time with an oblique strain that put him on the 60-day injured list.
Finally getting a bit of an extend look in the majors, Merryweather made 26 appearances out of the Jays' pen last year and the results just weren't there for him. He went 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA. Most things went wrong for him on the mound, including walking too many batters (2.4 BB/9), allowing too many home runs (1.4 HR/9) and seeing his strikeout numbers dip a bit (7.8 K/9).
It's likely going to be a sore subject for many Jays fans as the 31-year-old was meant to be more than this for the club. Sure, he was never going to be an superstar but I'd say that the expectations were far from met for this young man. After all, a total of five stint on the injured list over the course of just a few seasons is asking for problems.
Merryweather's next stop is going to be the Chicago Cubs, where he will join former teammate Anthony Kay, who was claimed by the Cubbies himself only a few weeks ago.