Blue Jays add even more unimpressive depth with lefty Clayton Richard
On Sunday evening, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired lefty veteran starting pitcher Clayton Richard while giving up 1B/OF Connor Panas.
Per sources, #BlueJays are close to acquiring lefty Clayton Richard from the Padres
Padres designated him last week. 35-year-old started 27 games for San Diego in 2018, posting a 5.33 ERA. He’ll earn $3 million next year.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) December 30, 2018
Richard was designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres last week (you’ll be forgiven if you missed that earth-shattering headline). At 35, he’s not young, nor is he particularly good. Richard posted a 5.33 ERA over 158 innings, posted a -1.8 bWAR and an ERA+ of 72.
Richard has had some decent years in the past, posting above-average ERA+ metrics in 2009 (101) and 2016 (122). At best, which seems unlikely at 35 in the American League East, he’s completely average. At worst, well, you get his 2018 season over again versus stiffer competition.
In order to make room on the 40-man roster, Oliver Drake has been designated for assignment. Seems they could have saved that step a few weeks ago and managed to protect some actually interesting players prior to the Rule 5 Draft, but there’s no point in retracing those steps now.
|10 Y||10 Y||10 Y||68||79||4.46||265||200||1239.1||1345||678||614||140||420||802||87||4.39||1.424||9.8||1.0||3.1||5.8||1.91|
|NL (||NL (||NL (||62||71||4.37||226||178||1102.2||1190||591||536||125||370||707||87||4.40||1.415||9.7||1.0||3.0||5.8||1.91|
|AL (||AL (||AL (||6||8||5.14||39||22||136.2||155||87||78||15||50||95||91||4.31||1.500||10.2||1.0||3.3||6.3||1.90|
Richard, however, does fill some needs for the roster: he can pitch a lot of innings, and well, that’s about it. But he’s someone to protect the younger guys like Sean Reid-Foley and Thomas Pannone from excessive exposure in 2019, a season in which the team will not contend. We’ve been assuming this would be the route the club would take all offseason. General Manager Ross Atkins is filling holes – both real and imagined – with very cheap and sometimes cost-controlled starters like Matt Shoemaker.
The Clayton Richard trade is straight out of the #BlueJays playbook. Loathe to dish out heavy free agent money, they look to acquire players through trade (Diaz, Grichuk, McKinney) or through gambling FA deals like Shoemaker's (Garcia, Granderson, every reliever).
— Ryan Andrews 📎 (@NeoAC18) December 30, 2018
Although with Connor Panas joining Jordan Romano on the way out, Dalton Pompey's 40-man slot incredibly tenuous, and Russell Martin being shopped, the #BlueJays Canadian content is dangerously low. Andrew Case and Demi Orimoloye are going to need to duet O Canada next year.
— Ryan Andrews 📎 (@NeoAC18) December 30, 2018
Of course, there’s two sides to every trade, and the in this one, the Blue Jays will be losing 1B/OF Connor Panas. Panas, a Canadian native and alum of Buffalo’s Canisius College, will be 26 by Opening Day in 2019.
Up through Double-A, Panas has slashed .251/.338/.424 while playing mostly first base and designated hitter. While the .338 OBP looks promising, he took a dive at Double-A, ften the biggest hurdle in a minor leaguer’s career, getting on-base at just .296 while watching his home runs totals cut in half (9).
Perhaps 2018 was just a rough season for Panas, but essentially the Padres get a solid, slow-developing a player who might be…something someday, but most likely not. The Padres are probably more concerned with the $3.5 Million coming off the books than finding a spot for a positionless prospect without any intriguing numbers.
There’s still some time to make the on-field product that is the 2019 Toronto Blue Jays more exciting, but chances are, it isn’t going to come in the form of the rotation. While previously acquired Matt Shoemaker provided some excited, there’s just nothing in this deal worth getting worked up about.
On we go, then.
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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.