The Blue Jays expect to trade David Purcey within the next ten days, and while not every team has interest in adding a struggling reliever, some clubs may be intrigued by Purcey's successful 2010 season and wonder if he can repeat it.
The first ten days of the 2011 season have been disappointing for Purcey, and Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos designated him for assignment today. However, the former first rounder pitched well a year ago, posting a 3.71 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 33 appearances for the Blue Jays.
Teams like the Mariners (one), Royals (one), Astros (one) and Tigers (two, including the struggling Brad Thomas) have limited left-handed relievers at the big league level, but they aren't necessarily the clubs that could use Purcey most. The left-hander has a reverse platoon split in parts of four Major League seasons, meaning he does better against right-handers (8.4 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 vs. RHB career, 8.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 vs. RHB last year) than left-handers (6.9 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 vs. RHB career, 9.2 K/9, 7.1 BB/9 vs. LHB last year).
Overall, Purcey induces more fly balls (48.5%) than ground balls (31.3%), so he could be a fit in a big ballpark like Citi Field or Petco Park. Both the Mets and the Padres are carrying a single left-handed reliever at the moment and could be intrigued by Purcey (though he is not your typical left-hander).
Mets executive J.P. Ricciardi selected Purcey 16th overall in the 2004 draft when he was Toronto's GM. A lot has changed in seven years, so the hard-throwing 28-year-old may no longer appeal to Ricciardi. But Purcey carries more upside than, say, Ron Mahay, so it won't be surprising if the Mets or some other club takes a chance on him.