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Recently DFA’ed Joel Kuhnel cleared waivers, elected free agency

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Ryley Delaney
10 days ago
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a transaction.
On May 30, the Blue Jays acquired relief pitcher Ryan Burr from the Philadelphia Phillies. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated Joel Kuhnel for assignment.
Well, the transaction page on Wednesday morning noted that Kuhnel elected free agency, meaning that he cleared waivers and the Jays couldn’t find a trade for him.
Kuhnel, 29, was acquired by the Blue Jays early in May for cash considerations and was assigned to the Buffalo Bisons. With Toronto’s Triple-A team, the right-handed pitcher had success as he had a 1.04 ERA and a 4.69 FIP in 8.2 innings pitched, but only struck out 2.7% of batters while walking 10.8% of them.
While he was on the Blue Jays 40-man roster, he never pitched for the big league club, but that  doesn’t mean he doesn’t have experience in the bigs. Kuhnel pitched two innings with the Houston Astros prior to the trade this season, giving up four earned runs in two innings pitched.
Kuhnel’s only full-time gig on a big league roster came back in 2022 with the Cincinnati Reds, where he had a 6.36 ERA and a 3.96 FIP in 58 innings pitched, along with a 22 K% and a 5.5 BB%. He spent 13 innings with the Reds and the Astros in 2023, as well as a cup of coffee in the 2019 and 2020 season with the Reds.
For his career, the 29-year-old righty has a 6.30 ERA and a 4.53 FIP in 85.2 innings pitched, along with a 19 K% and a 6.3 BB%. He’s a solid AAAA reliever with mid-90s stuff, so it won’t be all too surprising if he finds another team to sign with in a few days.
It’s unknown what’s next for Kuhnel, but we here at Blue Jays Nation wish nothing but the best for the righty. Hopefully, he finds a new team in a short amount of time.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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