The Blue Jays announced Tuesday that they’ve claimed right-hander Anthony Bass off waivers from the Mariners. In a corresponding roster move, Toronto designated fellow right-hander Ryan Dull for assignment.
Swapping out Dull for Bass on the 40-man roster is an upgrade for the Blue Jays, who pick up a 31-year-old veteran fresh off a 3.56 ERA through 48 innings of relief with this move. Bass has been inconsistent at the MLB level but has been sharp across the past two seasons with the Cubs and Mariners and is the owner of a career 4.38 ERA in 347 1/3 MLB innings. This past season marked his largest workload in the Majors since a 2015 run with Texas. In addition to his solid ERA, Bass averaged 8.1 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 0.94 HR/9 to go along with a quality 51.6 percent ground-ball rate. His 11.1 percent swinging-strike rate was the second-best of his career, and his 31.1 percent opponents’ chase rate on out-of-zone pitches was a career-high.
Dull, who turned 30 earlier this month, has bounced all over the league (and the continent, for that matter) since the beginning of August. He’d spent his entire eight-year career in the Athletics organization until being designated for assignment on Aug. 3. Since then, he’s bounced to the Giants, to the Yankees and to the Blue Jays via a series of waiver claims. Toronto actually passed him through waivers unclaimed in September but quickly selected his contract again when needing some ’pen depth late in September. Players who have more than three years of service or have been previously outrighted can elect free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment; Dull meets both criteria and will surely elect free agency if another club doesn’t claim him.
Dull was one of Oakland’s best relievers back in 2016 but has battled injuries over the ensuing three years and wasn’t particularly effective in 2019. He surrendered 18 runs in just 12 2/3 Major League innings this season and was also tagged for an ERA north of 5.00 in Triple-A. That said, he entered the 2019 campaign with a career 3.63 ERA and 155-to-44 K/BB ratio in 158 2/3 MLB innings and only just turned 30, so a return to form isn’t out of the question. He’ll just likely need to prove himself to a new club in the form of a minor league pact (again — if he clears waivers).