7

Blue Jays acquire Clayton Richard

The Blue Jays have acquired Clayton Richard for 1B/OF Connor Panas. 

He hasn’t been tied to Toronto in the past, but an extreme buy-low move for a soft tossing, kinda terrible lefty is the most Blue Jays move you’ll see this offseason. Richard spent the past two and a half seasons in San Diego where he threw 1046.1 innings of 4.37 ERA baseball. The 35-year-old only earns $3 Million next season (and apparently the Blue Jays will only be on the hook for half of that) and the Blue Jays need Major League pitching depth, so…

He doesn’t strike out much and relies on ground balls. But since moving back into the starting rotation in 2017, he has been getting less of them (59.6GB% in ’17 and 56.8% in ’18) than he did out of the pen when he was somewhat effective the two years prior (59.3% in ’15 and 65.1% in ’16). As a starter from 2017-2018, right handed hitters have slashed .291/.359/.495 against him. Even though some of that is due to a .338 BABIP in 2017, he’s now going to a division that could feast on soft throwing left handers.

Because of that, I don’t think his position in the rotation is solidified as of yet, but they do need guys that can fill both roles, so I guess it’s something to watch during the spring. It goes without saying that Richard does eat innings and you need somebody that can do that.

The acquisition cost for Richard, as you can expect, wasn’t that high. The Blue Jays sent 25-year-old Connor Panas to San Diego. Panas never reached higher than Double-A where he hit just .232/.296/.359 in 105 games this season.

In order to make room for Richard on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays have DFA’ed the Six God himself, Drizzy Drake, which is surprising given the weight his name carries in this city. I didn’t even know that yo- wait, there’s somebody named Oliver Drake on this team?