Royals cut bait on perfect left-handed reliever for the Blue Jays. Worth a look?

While Amir Garrett has had some issues this season with his control, he is a talented and reasonably priced southpaw who could provide the Blue Jays with another dimension in the bullpen.
Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians
Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

When it comes to the bullpen, the Blue Jays have been one of the better ones so far in 2023. As of the All-Star Break, they rank fifth in the Majors in ERA (3.63), third in WHIP (1.21) and ninth in opposing batting average (.235).

Of course there's always room for improvement, including adding another arm (or two). Along these lines, there is an intriguing potential option now available in Kansas City.

More specifically Amir Garrett, who was designated for assignment on Sunday by the Royals. He could be just what the Blue Jays are looking for, albeit he does come with some risk.

A mercurial talent

Arguably the biggest plus is that Garrett is a southpaw, something which the Blue Jays are lacking in the bullpen. The exception is Tim Mayza, who has excelled and leads all relievers on the team in ERA and WAR.

At 6 ft 5 in and 239 lbs, the 31-year-old is an imposing presence on the mound. In keeping with this, it is fitting that his best pitch is an excellent fastball.

Statistically speaking, what stands out is a 3.33 ERA, 133 ERA+ and 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Garrett has pitched 24.1 innings so far in 2023, due to missing June with a balky left elbow.

Location, location

Of course, the former Cincinnati Red wouldn't have been designated for assignment if he was a more valuable commodity to the Royals. In this respect, the main challenge facing him --- both this season and during his Major League career in general -- has been issues with his control.

This is mainly highlighted this year, by a terrible walk rate of 17.9 percent. By extension, Garrett's 1.726 WHIP is admittedly unnerving, on projected to be the worst of his seven years in the Majors.

Despite this, the positives still outweigh the negatives when analyzing the Victorville California native. It really comes down to how confident the Blue Jays are that they can help him improve location, because the talent is undoubtedly there.

An inexpensive risk

It also helps, that bringing Garrett to Toronto would be a relatively cheap gamble. The Blue Jays would only have to pick up the remainder of his one-year $2.65 million US contract.

The only other thing to consider is, that the Royals have a week (from July 9), to either trade, waive or release the 2011 draft pick. In this respect, the Blue Jays would probably prefer to play the waiting game.