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Toronto Blue Jays Release Claudio Vargas, Eugenio Velez


Eugenio Velez (seen here from 2011) received his release from Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate today. (Image Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

The Toronto Blue Jays cut ties with a pair of veterans early Monday, releasing Claudio Vargas and Eugenio Velez. Both players have spent the year with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. Room was needed on the Bisons roster in order to activate Moises Sierra from the disabled list and make room for Neil Wagner, according to a release by the team.

Vargas last appeared in the Major Leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010, posting a 7.32 ERA and 1.932 WHIP over 19.2 IP working out of the team’s bullpen. He holds a career record of 48-40 with a 4.83 ERA in 217 games (including 114 starts) over an eight year career. He’s toiled away at Triple-A since, first with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and then back with the Brewers before a brief stint in the Mexican League last summer. Toronto brought him aboard on a minor league deal this past offseason, but Vargas failed to impress enough to warrant consideration for a spot on the team’s active roster. He’d throw 83.0 IP for Buffalo, going 5-7 with a 5.86 ERA, 1.602 WHIP, and 3.9 BB/9.

Velez, meanwhile, has spent much of the year in left field for the Bisons with some time at second base. In 259 PA he’s hit .270/.372/.437, adding 21 stolen bases. The 31 year old spent four seasons with the San Francisco Giants and one with the Dodgers, hitting a combined .241/.287/.367 in 718 PA. His last stint in the Majors was with Los Angeles in 2011, in which he went hitless in 40 PA.

In 75 games with Buffalo, Sierra had hit .264/.317/.414 in 304 PA before landing on the minor league DL on July 4th. The 24 year old has yet to see any time with Toronto this season, but did appear in 49 games in 2012. He hit .224/.274/.374 in 157 PA in that stretch.

Wagner had just been optioned back to Triple-A over the weekend by the club, once Melky Cabrera was activated from the DL. Wagner had been 2-3 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.241 WHIP in 19.1 IP with the Blue Jays. Prior to his callup to Toronto he’d been having a stellar season with the Bisons, posting a 0.89 ERA and 0.885 WHIP in 19 appearances. He’d been a perfect 13-for-13 in save opportunities.