The Blue Jays’ bullpen certainly needed a Hand. HEYYYYOOOOO!
According to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post, the Blue Jays have acquired left-handed reliever Brad Hand from the Washington Nationals. Apparently, it’ll be catcher Riley Adams going back to Washington in exchange…
Hand originally came up with the Florida/Miami Marlins as a starting pitcher but converted into a bullpen role after being selected by the San Diego Padres off of waivers.
In 2016, Hand broke out as a very effective bullpen arm, leading baseball in appearances and posting a 2.92 ERA. He then made back-to-back All-Star appearances in 2017 and 2018 and was traded to Cleveland along with Adam Cimber in exchange for Francisco Mejia.
In 2020, Hand had an excellent season with Cleveland, posting a 2.05 ERA over 23 appearances and led baseball with 16 saves. He struck out 11.9 batters per nine and walked just 1.6 per nine. Despite that, Cleveland didn’t pick up his player option and instead let him hit free agency, where he inked a one-year, $10,500,000 deal with the Nationals.
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Hand hasn’t been quite as good this season as he has been in the past. Through 41 appearances, he has a 3.59 ERA, his strikeouts per nine are down to 8.9, and his walks per nine are up to 3.8.
Still, despite the down season, Hand is an upgrade as a lefty option in Toronto’s bullpen. Tim Mayza has been good lately, rebounding after a tough stretch in May, but Ryan Borucki has struggled since coming off of the Injured List. In four outings in July, Borucki has allowed three earned runs over three-and-two-thirds innings and his velocity is noticeably down.
Adding Hand gives the Blue Jays gives the team another much-needed left-handed option for late in games. The cost of Riley Adams isn’t too much to stomach either given how deep Toronto is at catcher right now.
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