Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Former Blue Jay Jacob Waguespack signs a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays
1 month ago
A former Blue Jay is back in the American League East.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Tampa Bay Rays have signed 2019 starter Jacob Waguespack to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.
The 30-year-old righty was the return for Aaron Loup, who the Blue Jays traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the 2019 deadline. In his first season in the big leagues that same season, Waguespack had a 4.39 ERA and a 4.91 FIP in 78 innings pitched, along with an 18.8 K% and an 8.7 BB%. He was part of the daunting rotation featuring Trent Thornton, Ryan Borucki, and Thomas Pannone.
Waguespack’s MLB career was short lived (for now), as he struggled mightily after transitioning to the bullpen in 2020. In the COVID year, he had an 8.15 ERA and a 4.72 FIP in 17.2 innings pitched, along with a 17.8 K% and a 10 BB%. He spent the majority of the second half of the season at the alternate site.
Before the start of the 2021 season, his last in the Blue Jays organization and North America as a whole, Waguespack was designated for assignment. He pitched all of 2021 with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, posting an impressive 2.86 ERA and a 2.87 FIP in 69.1 innings pitched, along with a 25.3 K% and a 7.2 BB%. At the end of the season, Waguespack opted to sign in Japan.
Waguespack spent two seasons with the Orix Buffaloes, pitching with Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. In his first season, he had a 2.97 ERA in 72.2 innings pitched, before struggling in 2023 with a 5.77 ERA in 43.2 innings pitched. Surprisingly, Waguespack had a fantastic 33.3 K% in his final season of NPB ball.
Will the Rays turn Waguespack into another version of Pete Fairbanks? It’s too be seen, but it’s nice to see Waguespack get another opportunity in North America with a big league organization.
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