4:54pm: Toronto will pay half of Richard’s $3MM salary, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com suggests.
4:15pm: Both teams have announced the trade. The Blue Jays are also getting cash considerations in the deal.
3:55pm: Richard’s going to Toronto, Nicholson-Smith tweets. The Blue Jays will give up minor leaguer outfielder Connor Panas, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. The 25-year-old Panas, a Toronto native whom the Blue Jays chose in the ninth round of the 2015 draft, got his first taste of Double-A action last season and hit .232/.296/.359 with nine home runs in 407 plate appearances.
3:35pm: The Blue Jays are close to acquiring left-hander Clayton Richard from the Padres, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports. Richard has been in limbo since the Padres designated him for assignment on Dec. 20.
The 35-year-old Richard has been a useful starter at times since his major league career began with the White Sox in 2008, but he’s now coming off an ugly season. Over 158 2/3 innings and 27 starts in San Diego, Richard pitched to a 5.33 ERA/4.68 FIP with 6.13 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 before undergoing season-ending left knee surgery in late August. On the bright side, Richard posted an excellent groundball rate (56.8 percent), which has been a staple throughout his time in the majors.
Needless to say, Richard – who’s owed a guaranteed $3MM in 2019, the last season of a two-year contract – wouldn’t be a particularly exciting acquisition for Toronto. If healthy, though, he could eat innings for a retooling Blue Jays team which may have multiple questions in its rotation next season. The Jays look to have four-fifths of their rotation set with Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Ryan Borucki and the just-signed Matt Shoemaker in the fold. However, Stroman has frequented trade rumors throughout the offseason, Sanchez battled injury and performance issues from 2017-18, and Shoemaker was neither healthy nor especially effective with the Angels over the previous couple years.