On New Years Day the Jays traded minor league right handers Daniel Webb and Myles Jaye for relief pitcher Jason Frasor from the White Sox. On the surface the trade truly brings back a semi-true Blue Jay in the sense that Frasor has been a Jay almost his entire career save for the half a season he spent in south side Chicago. As you delve further you see how the trade helps the Jays as well as the effect that is has on Frasor.
Another plus in the trade is that the Jays only had to give away a couple lower level talents in Webb and Jaye. Webb is a 22 year old playing in A ball (so a little old for the league) and only pitched to a 5.59 ERA and 4.40 FIP. Granted the rate stats such as the 2.13 K/BB ratio are somewhat encouraging, but either way this definitely isn’t a prospect that you’d see on any Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects list and likely not on any top 30 lists either.
As for Jaye, he has a little more polish and potential. He was the Blue Jays’ 17th round pick in the 2010 draft, but was signed for $250,000 which is well above slot. As a deadline signee Jaye didn’t play in short season ball in 2010 but in 2011 with the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appy league he posted a 3.00 ERA and fantastic peripheral stats. Jaye may be better than Webb, but like Webb he won’t be popping up on any Keith Law or Kevin Goldstein lists any time soon, well at least on the Jays side.
To go along with the very little that the Jays gave up because it was part salary relief, in Jason Frasor the Jays bring back a solid bullpen arm and a guy who has been among the most consistent relievers in the MLB over the past decade having only posted an ERA above 4.50 once in his career. As well with Frasor comes some veteran leadership that casual fans just eat up and a well known face because of all the time spent with the Jays.
In the bullpen, the role that Frasor likely fits in to is a share of the right handed setup man role with Casey Jannsen. He figures to add yet another piece to the surprisingly quick built bullpen in Toronto as so far this offseason Anthopoulos has added Sergio Santos, Darren Oliver, maybe Aaron Laffey and now Frasor to a bullpen that was in the bottom half of the league in most conventional and sabrmetric statistics.
AA took ahold of the Andrew Friedman method and quietly built a strong bullpen much like the Tamba Bay Rays last offseason and in their pennant winning 2008 season. The Rays are often cited as an example of why you don’t need to spend big bucks on the bullpen and how bullpens can be built in a year. From the looks of it Anthopoulos has taken note from a division rival and hopefully like it did for the Rays it works for the Jays.
Overall there really doesn’t seem like any downside to this trade for the Jays and almost limitless upside. The prospects really don’t figure to turn in to too much as they don’t seem to have large amounts of promise. In the endwhat the trade boils down to is just a feel good trade for the Jays, something the Jays desperately needed after the Yu Darvish fiasco and the Prince Fielder drama. Because no one can complain about bringing back the Johnny Mac of the bullpen, Jason Frasor.