The Blue Jays are showing interest in several veteran relievers, including right-hander Adam Warren, per Robert Murray and Emily Waldon of The Athletic (Twitter link). Waldon tweets that Warren currently has offers from multiple teams in hand and is weighing his options.
Warren, 31, hasn’t been connected to many clubs this winter. It surely doesn’t help the righty that he missed time early in the season due to a back strain and then struggled following a trade from the Yankees to the Mariners. Warren posted a respectable 3.74 ERA in 21 2/3 frames with Seattle but saw his strikeout rate plummet from nearly 29 percent to to just 15.8 percent after changing teams. Warren’s average fastball dipped from 93 mph in 2017 to 91.9 mph in 2018, though he gained some velocity as the season wore on, and it’s possible that the early back troubles hindered his velocity to an extent.
Still, the sum of Warren’s efforts between the two clubs last year resulted in a 3.14 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9 and a 37.6 percent ground-ball rate in 51 2/3 innings. His 10.4 percent swinging-strike rate and 31.5 percent opponents’ chase rate were actually the best marks he’d turned in since 2014. Warren benefited from a sky-high 84.4 percent strand rate that he’s quite unlikely to replicate, but fielding-independent metrics such as FIP (3.94) and SIERA (3.84) still felt he was a solid, if unspectacular bullpen piece. He also has a history as a multi-inning reliever and has worked as a starter in the past, which one would think is all the more appealing to clubs around the league.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said early this month that the “bulk” of the team’s focus between then and Opening Day would be on pitching additions. It’s not clear whether Warren is weighing multiple MLB or minor league offers, though Atkins noted at the time of his comment that he wasn’t ruling out adding another player on a big league deal.