Report: Toronto Blue Jays sign Brett Oberholtzer

 

The Toronto Blue Jays have added some relief depth by signing lefty, Brett Oberholtzer, who will likely spend most of his time in AAA.

 

 

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The Toronto Blue Jays have added to their bullpen mix…sort of. They’ve signed Brett Oberholtzer, according to Jon Heyman.

 

The 27 year old lefty played for the Phillies and Angels last season and did not quite have a successful season. He is 2 years removed from his best season, which came as a starter for the Houston Astros. That year, he put up a 5-13 record with a 4.39 ERA, so “best” is a relative term. He was worth 2.2 WAR that year.

 

Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP SO/W
2013 23 HOU 4 5 .444 2.76 13 10 1 71.2 66 26 22 7 13 45 147 3.65 1.102 3.46
2014 24 HOU 5 13 .278 4.39 24 24 0 143.2 170 73 70 12 28 94 88 3.56 1.378 3.36
2015 25 HOU 2 2 .500 4.46 8 8 0 38.1 44 21 19 4 17 27 88 4.49 1.591 1.59
2016 26 TOT 3 3 .500 5.89 37 2 14 70.1 85 47 46 18 29 54 70 6.22 1.621 1.86
2016 26 PHI 2 2 .500 4.83 26 0 10 50.1 58 28 27 11 20 38 86 5.67 1.550 1.90
2016 26 LAA 1 1 .500 8.55 11 2 4 20.0 27 19 19 7 9 16 47 7.60 1.800 1.78
162 Game Avg. 8 12 .378 4.36 44 24 8 175 197 90 85 22 47 119 91 4.27 1.395 2.53
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/7/2016.

 

Since then, he has had a run of bad luck, or performance, depending on how you want to look at it. The Phillies shipped him back and forth to AAA and then the Angels claimed him off waivers.

 

He offers a fastball, curve and change combo with his fastball topping out at 89 mph. On top of that, none of his offerings have positive values, according to Fangraphs. He’s not a guy who has been able to fool many batters over the last couple of seasons, and it plays out in his 16.8% K rate. One would think that with a low K rate, he might depend more on the groundball. Well, his 42.3% GB rate doesn’t exactly excite. Add to that the fact that his flyball rate is 36.3% and you might wonder what this signing actually provides. IF that is the case, don’t look at the 21.2% HR/FB rate.

 

This signing provides some depth in the bullpen from the left side of the plate. Likely, we can expect that he will see his time in AAA and, on a minor league deal, this isn’t such a bad idea. While many of us are hanging around waiting for bigger news than this, we often forget that there are other spots to fill outside of the big ones. Part of the offseason is always used to fill other spots. Just because a deal happens, we shouldn’t automatically judge the impact it will have on moving toward a championship. This is not an effort to replace Brett Cecil or Joaquin Benoit.

 

If you’re looking through that lens, this deal will disappoint you. But, if you remember that the organization has many more spots to fill than the big league roster. Some of those very well could end up having some kind of impact on the product fielded in Toronto- what’s to say that Oberholtzer won’t be called upon to appear out of the right field gate? He just might. But, we shouldn’t go getting upset about this kind of deal.

 

Oberholtzer is an organizational depth move and does offer some kind of potential at 27 yrs old. It is not the sexy move we were all hoping for during the Winter Meetings. But, if you only wants sexy moves, don’t follow a baseball team during the offseason. You’d be better off watching old Aerosmith concerts.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.