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:
LHP Brett Anderson running in the outfield here at Rogers Centre. Nothing official from #BlueJays
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) August 28, 2017
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.