In what has been an insanely busy week or so for Ross Atkins and Co., the Toronto Blue Jays have made yet another move.
Right-handed pitcher Zach Thompson has been acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league outfielder Chavez Young.
To make room for Thompson on the 40-man roster, newly-acquired pitcher Junior Fernández has been designated for assignment.
Thompson, 29, has logged some innings in each of the past two seasons. In 2021, he emerged as a surprise find for the Marlins, making 26 appearances (14 starts) and posting a 3.24 ERA with a 130 ERA+.
After being traded to the Pirates in the Jacob Stallings trade in November of 2021, he spent the majority of last season in the rotation for the Pirates and did not dominate quite as much as he had in the year prior. In 29 games (22 starts), Thompson went 3-10 with a 5.18 ERA and an ERA+ of 80, meaning he was 20 percent below league-average.
Thompson is a big boy at 6-foot-7, 250lbs and has quite the pitching repertoire under his belt. In last season alone, he mixed in the following pitches:
Six pitches is a ton for one pitcher to have on hand. Thompson's repertoire doesn't feature anything in the high-90s that will blow hitters away but he has a ton of weapons at his disposal which automatically makes him an intriguing add.
One thing to note about Thompson that undoubtedly furthered his value to the Jays, is the fact that he has three minor league options remaining, meaning he can freely be sent down to the minors this season instead of being at risk of exposure to waivers.
Chavez Young, 25, has been a member of the Blue Jays system since all the way back in 2016 but never quite seemed to do enough to warrant any consideration for a potential call to the bigs.
Young, a switch-hitter with no real pop to speak of but some serious wheels on the basepaths, plays all three outfield spots well and only really holds value in his ability to draw walks and steal bases. Since he's already 25 without any real sustained success in the minors, he was seen as expendable.
Then there's Junior Fernández who was only just claimed off of waivers from the New York Yankees last week.
Fernández, 25, was out of minor league options and represented a legitimate question mark going into Spring Training for the Jays. It was known all along that if he didn't succeed in ST, he'd surely be exposed to waivers instead of being carried on the big league squad.
He owns a pretty impressive 99mph sinkerball as his main pitch but has struggled to find consistency over the course of his career. If he is able to pass through waivers, I'm sure the Jays would be more than happy to stash him back in the minors and select his contract down the line if he does well.