It isn’t really news, since we’ve known for over a week that he was going to a Blue Jay, but the Jays officially announced JP Howell’s one-year, $3 million deal on Thursday morning.
Also, Mike Wilner tweeted that the Jays have signed super-utility guy Jake Elmore to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Can we please just get the fucking season started yet? What a morning!
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 9, 2017
According to Jon Heyman, Howell will have some bonuses attached to his contract based on innings pitched. Howell will make $50k if he pitches 45 innings with the Jays, and he’ll make another $50k for every five innings after that, topping out at 65 innings. So a $250k bonus, essentially.
#BlueJays DFA lefty Chad Girodo to make 40-man space for J.P. Howell
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 9, 2017
About a year ago, Girodo was heralded as the lefty reliever of the future. He had a ridiculously good showing in Double-A New Hampshire in 2015, and followed it up with an excellent performance in the Arizona Fall League. But the wheels kind of fell off the wagon in 2016, as Girodo had a mediocre season in Triple-A Buffalo, posting a 4.04 ERA while only striking out 6.1 batters per nine innings.
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) February 9, 2017
And then there’s this! The Jays added Jake Elmore on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. I doubt he cracks the team, personally, but he provides some nice depth and insurance over the course of a long season.
Also, he plays every single position other than pitcher! He plays every position! All of them! According to the great John Lott, Elmore has pitched in two games in his big league career.
FAKE NEWS, Mike. Elmore has appeared in two MLB games as a pitcher. https://t.co/oP4cre54mV
— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) February 9, 2017
And so long as this ludicrous ‘start extra innings with a bullshit runner on second base’ thing doesn’t actually go down, maybe we’ll get to see him pitch in the Jays annual 19-inning marathon game. Damn! This seems even more likely now!
But in all seriousness, Elmore is basically the Andy Burns replacement. Burns, as we know, isn’t with the Jays organization anymore, and is set to play in Japan in 2017. Elmore has played with the Diamondbacks, Astros, Reds, Rays, and most recently, the Brewers over his five-year tour of the Major Leagues, never doing much with the bat but providing some value with his versatility and glove. His 162-game career average OPS is .577, so, yeah.
But a guy who can catch and play in the outfield in the same game? Why not!
Blue Jays continue to make moves that suggest Ryan Goins may not be with the team much longer
— BVH (@BVHJays) February 9, 2017
This is something I hadn’t really thought about. With Elmore and Jonathan Diaz added to the fold in the past week, the Jays could be gearing up for a potential loss of Ryan Goins on waivers after spring training. The last spot on the roster will more than likely come down to Goins and Darwin Barney. It’s hard to imagine the Jays releasing Barney, because he’s signed to a major league deal and they’ll have to pay to let him go. Also, he’s pretty obviously the better player of the two. It’s not certain Goins will get claimed by another team, and hell, it isn’t certain he’s even going to be put on waivers, but the Jays seem to be gearing up for that reality.