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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Nori Aoki D’d FA, Leonel Campos Up, Brett Anderson Looms

The Jays are making some moves! Most notable among them is the fact that outfielder Nori Aoki, who was the ballast acquired from Houston to make the Teoscar Hernandez-Francisco Liriano trade work, has now been designated for assignment. The reciprocal move, according to the Jays, is the recall of Leonel Campos, though what’s going on here is not quite as simple as a one-for-one spot.

For starters, Aoki being D’d FA means that a spot has been cleared on the Jays’ 40-man roster. And, according to Hazel Mae, a player who isn’t yet on that roster has been spotted at Rogers Centre:

Keegan Matheson notes that Tom Koehler is listed among the relievers on tonight’s lineup card, suggesting that Anderson is going to take Koehler’s rotation spot tomorrow.

Anderson is… interesting, I guess. He has battled injuries for several years, but was a pretty decent pitcher in another life (6 WAR combined betweeen 2009 and 2010 in Oakland) and at least servicable in 2015 for the Dodgers (1.7 WAR over 180 innings), was deemed good enough to start the year in the World Champion Cubs’ rotation. He got hurt/flamed out after 6 starts in Chicago, and spent most of the year either hurt or with the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies, before being acquired by the Jays as depth. His time in Buffalo has been decent, if you go by his ERA and the fact that he’s kept the ball in the ballpark, but looks pretty fucking mirage-y when you notice that he’s struck out just three batters in his 9.2 innings. He’s a ground ball guy, though — his 66.3 GB% with the Dodgers led the league in 2015 — so we can take that with a little bit of a grain of salt.

Anderson will be a free agent at the end of this season, so the Jays really have no obligation to use him unless they think there’s actually something there worth looking at. (Unless they’re buttering him up with big league money and opportunity to help position themselves to take a run at him, or others like him, as a depth starter for Buffalo this winter, which… wouldn’t surprise me, and wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world either).

As for Aoki, the Jays look to be doing him a solid as well, trying to find him a new home before September call-ups arrive and the deadline for playoff eligibility passes. He certainly won’t be needed once the call-ups arrive in a few days, with the club certainly set to take a long look at Hernandez (and perhaps Anthony Alford, as well). From the minute he arrived it seemed unlikely that the Jays were going to tender him a contract for 2018 this winter, and this move certainly confirms that.

Hey, and Leonel Campos is back, too. That’s… something.

  • Jeff2sayshi

    This just seems like poor roster management to me. Hard to believe there’d be zero market for Aoki now or in the winter. Jays went into 2015 offseason with too many outfielders and turned Ben Revere into Drew Storen. Seems like every roster move recently has required DFA-ing.

    • The Humungus

      They have to DFA him today if they’re going to get him through release waivers before the deadline Thursday so he can sign on with a playoff team as a bench bat. No one is going to give the Jays anything in trade for a non-tender candidate who’s a 35 y-o 4th outfielder.

      Stoeten was bang-on in saying they’re probably doing him a favour by cutting him now. It makes the team look good to minor league FA’s if they do solid things for respected veterans.

    • Trevatron

      Obviously there is zero market or they would have traded him instead. Houston dumped his salary on Toronto to partially offset Liriano $$ and the Jays don’t need him so theyre cutting him loose.

      • The Humungus

        The Jays held on to Liriano’s $$$ as well. That’s how they managed to get Teoscar Hernandez for a junk starter that Houston was going to turn into a reliever.