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Blue Jays add pitching depth in small trade with Phillies

Thursday night was City Connect night for the Toronto Blue Jays and players from around the league were so excited to see them that players flocked to suit up for the organization. According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (X-link), the Jays acquired the league’s coldest pitcher, Ryan Burr, in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies.

At this point the return is unknown, but since Burr is a non-40-man pitcher who played in Triple-A with the Phillies, it’s likely a low-level non-prospect heading to Philly, or simply for monetary reasons . .

With this move, the Blue Jays appear to be fully focused on the idea of ​​”buying” rather than selling assets. Of course, this is said tongue-in-cheek, as acquiring Burr probably won’t move the needle much in one direction or the other, but he’s going to fill a void in a Blue Jays system that has been in dire need of a warm-up . body. But not just any body, but someone with experience in the big league who can later be used in the Major League selection if that experience is needed.

Burr, 30 two days ago, is a right-handed reliever who was drafted by the Rangers in the 33rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft and later by the Diamondbacks in the fifth round in 2015. He spent most of his time climbing through the minor leagues as a member of the White Sox, with whom he made his debut in 2018.

Burr played a total of 66 games in the big league with the White Sox in the 2018-2022 season. He posted a respectable ERA of 4.08 and an above-average ERA+ of 109. He hasn’t historically been much of a strikeout pitcher, but he’s also done a decent job limiting hits.

After spending last year with the Rays’ Triple-A club, Burr signed a minor league deal with the Phillies last offseason. He played 15 games for them and had a 2.16 ERA with a whopping 29 strikeouts in just 16.2 innings of work, good for a K/9 of 15.7, easily the highest of his career. The Blue Jays must have seen just enough to determine that he was the type of talent they needed in their high minors affiliates.

Again, Burr doesn’t need a spot on the 40-man roster, but it’s entirely possible we see him on a big league mound before the year is over. He will join Mike Mayers, Beau Sulser and Aaron Sanchez as non-roster players occupying spots in Triple-A.

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