It didn’t take long for Jays fans to say good-bye to Jeremy Jeffress. After acquiring the hard-throwing right hander from the Royals this offseason for cash considerations, the Jays have now designated him for assignment. Jeffress, 25, is out of options and will have to clear waivers in order to pick up at triple-A Buffalo.
I imagine that a young, once top prospect who throws high 90s will be scooped off waivers by someone. But the Jays don’t have a season to wait for his control to come around – we are all in.
Veteran Dave Bush, who fans will remember came up through the Jays system and departed on the trade that brought us Lyle Overbay, will temporarily replace Jeffress on the big league club. The Jays needed someone who could eat innings since the bullpen has been heavily worked to open the season and Bush, who has been a starter during his career and was schedule to start tomorrow in Buffalo, provides a fresh arm. Bush will most likely head back to Buffalo when Brett Lawrie joins the big club. Lawrie was eligible to come off the DL today, so he could be back anytime.
You could tell that manager John Gibbons was reluctant to use Jeffress in any close game situation since the power righty struggles with control. However, with no other arms left in the bullpen, Gibbons handed the ball to Jeffress yesterday. He promptly gave up a homer and walked two in an inning of work. With Brett Cecil pitching so well, the drama of who would make the team when Lawrie comes back is over.
Jeffress looks like a guy that might never gain control to me. Think Wil Ledezma. Throws 98 but can’t hit the plate. I imagine he’ll bounce around from team to team as a depth guy/back of the bullpen option for a few years because he has such a great arm. I hope him the best, but we’re playing to win this year – not to develop. Glad the organization continues to send this message.