The Blue Jays have announced a series of minor league pitching signings today, including righties Roberto Hernandez and Brad Penny. Toronto also confirmed the previously-reported signing of southpaw Wade LeBlanc and announced the additions of right-hander Scott Copeland and lefty Pat McCoy. All of the above-listed players will receive invites to major league camp.
Hernandez, 35, threw 84 2/3 innings (in eleven starts and nine relief appearances) last year for the Astros before losing his roster spot. He put up a 4.36 earned run average with 4.5 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in that span. Hernandez lost a mile off of his fastball last year, ending with an average 88.9 mph heater, but rested for the second half of the season and could be a swingman/long relief candidate.
Toronto will owe pay Hernandez at a $1.25MM annual rate if he makes the roster, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (on Twitter). The deal also includes $750K in incentives. And there’s a March 28 opt-out, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca adds via Twitter.
Penny still brings a mid-nineties heater even as he closes in on 38 years of age, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick noted yesterday in reporting the signing on Twitter. He can opt out of his deal at the end of camp, Nicholson-Smith notes via Twitter. Penny worked as a starter last year at Triple-A for the White Sox, throwing 135 1/3 innings of 4.46 ERA ball.
Copeland, meanwhile, just turned 28. He debuted briefly for the Jays last year, but spent most of the year working to a 2.95 ERA in 125 Triple-A innings, but with a marginal 4.8 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9.
As for McCoy, he has also received a short stint in the bigs — in 2014 with the Tigers — and will be looking for a chance at a return. He spent last year in the Orioles organization, throwing 83 1/3 minor league innings and compiling a 3.78 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.