Pitching depth has been a recurring theme in 2019 for the Blue Jays. What started out to seem like a surprisingly solid group of pitchers has turned into wondering who will even pitch in the next game for Toronto.Management addressed this shallow staff and have added right-handed Wilmer Font from the Mets to add at least some stability to the bullpen.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 17, 2019
Font has appeared in a total of 25 games for both the Rays and the Mets this season, while starting three. Acquired via trade in early May by the Mets, he was recently designated for assignment before getting traded to Toronto.
Through 45 innings in 2019, he has been striking out batters at a 8.40 K/9 rate while walking 3.6 per nine. His 5.20 ERA correlates correctly to his 5.57 FIP, allowing a high number of runs compared to the average major-leaguer.
But the Jays are just sending over cash in this deal, a very low-risk move to just get some player on the 25-man before the complete teardown happens prior to the July 31 trading deadline. Ken Giles and Daniel Hudson are the two likely candidates that will be playing for other teams in August and while the Jays have some arms in the minors that could be ready for a couple months of the majors, Font can just simply be there to get some outs and not risk a young talent.
Font already has a Toronto connection from before. He spent his 2016 in the Jays system, starting a total of 11 games between Double-A and Triple-A and was a pretty mediocre starter with a 4.10 FIP at the Triple-A level.
His best season was the season after, while starting 25 games and pitching 134.1 innings for the Triple-A affiliate of the Dodgers. Striking out 11.93 per nine and managing a 2.98 FIP through that many innings was pretty impressive and earned him some major-league time in 2018.
But since then his numbers have declined and he might be better labeled as a pure “AAAA” pitcher.
At worst, Font will just simply give the Jays another arm and is a better option than having Edwin Jackson in the bullpen.