The Toronto Blue Jays are on the board coming out of the MLB lockout.
Toronto has agreed to terms with left-handed reliever Andrew Vasquez on a major-league deal, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.
Vasquez has limited experience at the MLB level, with just 6.2 career innings under his belt. He made two appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, surrendering one unearned run with three strikeouts.
The 28-year-old has flashed big strikeout potential in the minor leagues, racking up 79 punch-outs in just 48.1 innings in triple-A last season. He did struggle with his command, walking 4.5 batters per nine innings.
Big southpaw who throws a tonne of curveballs. Great bat-missing numbers in the minors with a high walk rate. Interesting bullpen project. MLB deal is a bit of a surprise for a 28-year-old with less than 10 IP in the majors. https://t.co/0qXcKclfFC
— Nick Ashbourne (@NickAshbourne) March 12, 2022
Toronto's bullpen was a weakness for the team in 2021, particularly before the mid-season additions of Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards. Vasquez doesn't figure to factor into a late-inning role — at least out of the gate — but gives manager Charlie Montoyo another left-handed relief option besides Tim Mayza and possibly Ryan Borucki.
Vasquez is not the first reliever the Blue Jays have acquired this offseason, landing Yimi Garcia and David Phelps before the lockout, with the latter inking a minor-league deal. Their biggest addition of the winter thus far has been signing starter Kevin Gausman to a five-year, $110 million contract to help offset the loss of Cy Young winner Robbie Ray.
Agents and rival teams don't expect the Blue Jays to close their wallets any time soon, with many anticipating another big splash in the coming days, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The club still has a clear need in the infield after Marcus Semien's departure, with Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal currently pencilled in for everyday roles at second and third base, respectively. A left-handed bat or switch-hitter would be an ideal target to help provide balance to a primarily right-handed lineup.
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