While most of the heavy lifting from the Toronto Blue Jays’ is still to come, the club got started by claiming reliever Anthony Bass on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old right hander is coming off a season where he provided 48 innings of 3.56 ERA ball for the Seattle Mariners, with a 3.90 FIP. Bass didn’t miss a tonne of bats (8.06 K/9) but kept the ball on the ground (51.6 percent groundball rate) and in the ballpark (0.91 HR/9) at above-average clips. He sports a power sinker that comes in around 95 mph, using a slider as his strikeout pitch to right-handers and his splitter to get lefties. Because he has those two secondary offerings in his back pocket, Bass has traditionally been able to induce relatively neutral platoon splits.
Although Bass doesn’t look like he’ll be an impact arm for the Blue Jays, he’s projects to make just $1.7 million in arbitration and could provide a baseline of competence to a group riddled with question marks. As a former starter, he’s also capable of giving his club a little length if the occasion calls for it.
While the chances of Bass’s contributions moving the needle one way or the other are fairly slim, he could be an affordable and versatile upgrade for the Blue Jays. His addition helps around the margins for a team in need of core upgrades, but as an individual move it’s hard to dislike bringing Bass aboard.
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