Last season, the Chicago White Sox acquired reliever Jason Frasor and pitching prospect Zach Stewart from the Toronto Blue Jays for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen at the trade deadline. Yesterday, both teams made another swap involving Frasor that will send the reliever back to Canada. The Jays recently signed Darren Oliver and also acquired closer Sergio Santos from the White Sox; a previously subpar bullpen has been built into a quality one. The Sox acquired pitching prospects Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb in the trade for the 34-year-old who owns a career FIP- of 86.
Jaye is a right-handed pitching prospect who just started rookie ball last season and pitched 54 innings of 3.00 ERA ball. He was able to strike out 8.2 batters per nine, but the 17th round pick also walked three batters per nine and gave up 1.2 homers per nine. Jaye has a solid fastball, and his slider shows some promise. However, he struggles with his command and leaves his fastball up in the zone too much. His slider can become a consistent out-pitch at some point, but Jaye doesn’t locate it well right now. His upside is a long reliever at this point, and it really is too early to tell.
The best prospect in this deal is Myles Jaye, and he really isn’t that good of a prospect. The other right-hander in this deal, Daniel Webb, owns a career 5.11 ERA in 135.2 minor league innings. He had a 4.40 FIP in 66 innings last year in class A, and he struck out just 6.95 per nine and walked 3.27 per nine. Webb is a competitive guy, but there really isn’t much to like about him. Jaye may one day break into the Majors as a replacement-level pitcher, but Webb is really just a throw-in guy in this trade.
Jason Frasor pitched 60 innings for both the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox last season, and he was worth 0.3 WAR and had a 4.04 xFIP. Frasor walked 3.90 men per nine, but he was also able to set down 8.55 on strikes every nine innings.
In 2009, he was worth 1.4 WAR and was also worth 0.9 WAR in 2010. If we use the Marcel based on three years, Frasor is a 0.7 WAR reliever. That’s pretty solid, and Frasor will once again be a quality set-up man for Toronto.
Credit must be given where and when it is due, and Alex Anthopoulos has done an excellent job this offseason. Heading into free agency, the Jays bullpen was quite poor and lacked a legitimate closer and had question marks all around. Even though Nestor Molina is a quality prospect, the deal to acquire Sergio Santos was still a smart move for the Jays. He recently signed veteran set-up man Darren Oliver, and he traded two middling prospects for the always solid Jason Frasor.
The Blue Jays bullpen is stocked with players who know eachother, and the foursome of Santos, Oliver, Frasor, and Casey Janssen is a good one indeed. It’s always important to have a quality bullpen in a division like the AL East, and these little tweaks are what keep the Jays competitive (81-81) in this division. There’s another Wild Card spot open in the MLB, and who’s to say the Jays don’t make a run at it?
Be sure to check out all of Call to the Pen’s transaction breakdowns for the 2011-12 offseason.