The Blue Jays have agreed to a minor-league deal with righty Jake Petricka, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (via Twitter). He’ll have the opportunity to earn a $1.3MM base salary with $500K in incentives if he can crack the MLB roster.
Petricka, 29, is a former second-rounder who has delivered good results at times in the majors. Between 2013 and 2015, he posted a 3.24 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 over 144 1/3 innings. Despite the middling strikeout and walk figures, Petricka allowed only five home runs in that span. With a mid-nineties sinker, he has traditionally delivered big groundball rates (61.5% career).
Unfortunately, injuries and performance lapses arose more recently. A hip procedure cost Petrickamost of 2016. And he managed only 25 2/3 innings last year, allowing twenty earned runs but also posting a 26:6 K/BB ratio. He ultimately underwent a nerve transposition and flexor tendon debridement procedure in October of 2017.
At the time of that surgery, it was estimated Petricka would need to lay off for at least three or four months. The White Sox ended up non-tendering him rather than working out an arbitration salary. (He projected to earn $1.1MM.) With just over four years of MLB service on his clock, Petricka could still be tendered a contract in the future.
Petricka’s current status isn’t fully clear, but in all likelihood he’ll be handled with some care as he works back to full health. Whether or not he’ll have a real shot at earning a MLB pen job in camp, Petricka could well represent an interesting option for the Jays at some point in the coming season.