Blue Jays longest-tenured player hits open market, promptly signs with division rival

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

Only a few days ago, the Toronto Blue Jays released left-handed pitcher Tim Mayza, who at the time was the longest-tenured player on their roster. The 32-year-old was drafted in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB Draft by Toronto and had been a fixture on their big league roster since 2017.

According to Katie Woo and Brendan Kuty of The Athletic, Mayza's stay on the open market is already coming to a close. Of all teams, the Blue Jays' division rival New York Yankees have picked him up and signed him to a minor league contract. He will report to the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, but has a clear path to the big leagues since New York's bullpen has been ravaged by injuries this season.

Blue Jays release Tim Mayza, who promptly signs with the Yankees

Mayza made 35 appearances for the Blue Jays prior to his release this year, but nearly all of them were hard to watch. He limped to an ERA of 8.03 with a still-uninspiring 4.92 FIP and a ghastly ERA+ of just 51. He's never been much of a strikeout pitcher, but his K/9 dropped from 8.9 to 5.8 while his walks and hits per nine also shot upwards compared to where they were last season. He's also lost nearly three miles per hour from his sinker over the past few years, which could explain why he's been much more hittable.

The Blue Jays simply couldn't hold on to him any longer, as he was essentially a punching bag for opposing offenses every time he took the mound. Now it appears he's going to be the Yankees' problem, which works out nicely for the Jays.

As things currently stand, the Yankees have a total of eight pitchers on the injured list, five of them being relievers. They've managed to stay afloat for the most part, ranking ninth in all of baseball in RP ERA (3.64) despite the fact that they've been hit hard by injuries.