I don’t know why I decided to write the title of this post in all caps, because holy shit, Craig Breslow isn’t a real sexy signing. In fact, if I didn’t feel some sort of obligation to do so, I might have just let it passed unmentioned.
Because what the hell does one even mention about this?
The particulars, first, I suppose:
Source: #BlueJays signing LHP Craig Breslow to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to Spring Training.
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) February 12, 2018
Per source #BlueJays have agreed to sign LHP Craig Breslow to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to MLB spring training. He'd earn $1.25 million if he makes the team, possibly more with incentives, and has an opt-out at the end of spring training.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 12, 2018
Breslow, who — if you’re like me (congratulations) — you’ll probably remember most as a member of the Red Sox, actually has some good seasons on his resume. Unfortunately they’re quite a far distance into the past.
From 2006 to 2013 he made 405 big league appearances, accumulating 3.6 WAR (per Fangraphs) over that span. WAR isn’t a great stat for relievers, but whatever: you get it, he was pretty useful.
That 2013 season, though, marked a bit of a change. Through the end of the 2012 season Breslow carried a career strikeout rate of 20.7%. In 2013 that dropped to 13.9%, and it really hasn’t gone back since — from 2013 onward he’s struck out just 14.6% of the batters he’s faced. The number is even lower when he faces left-handed hitters, which (being a left-handed pitcher himself) is the role he’s really best suited to.
Well, unless you count pitching in Buffalo — which seems an even better idea.
But whatever! The Jays really only have Aaron Loup and Tim Mayza (UPDATE: oh, and apparently Matt Dermody) right now as potential bullpen lefties, and the fact that Breslow — who Benny Fresh notes has ties to the Jays’ front office (he pitched for Cleveland in 2008, and was at his best on Ben Cherington’s Red Sox teams) — is on a minor league deal with an invite means that his presence isn’t stopping the club from going out and getting an option that looks even better. (Tony Watson, I presume?)
Should I add some numbers on what Breslow has done since 2013… ? Nah, fuck it.
So… sure! See if something’s there. SEE IF I CARE!!!!!