The Blue Jays are acquiring left-handed reliever Travis Bergen from the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash considerations, per various reporters (including Scott Mitchell of TSN). Right-hander Patrick Murphy is going on the 60-day injured list to clear 40-man roster space. Arizona had designated Bergen for assignment earlier this week. The teams have since announced the move.
It’s something of a homecoming for Bergen, who entered pro ball as a seventh-round pick of the Jays back in 2015. The Giants selected Bergen in the Rule 5 draft in advance of the 2019 season but returned him to Toronto in the middle of that year. The Blue Jays ultimately selected Bergen to the 40-man roster themselves, but they wound up flipping him to Arizona last summer for Robbie Ray. (Perhaps more meaningfully for the D-Backs, Toronto also agreed to pick up most of Ray’s $1.42MM salary for the 2020 stretch run).
Bergen will now team up with Ray, who re-signed with the Jays over the offseason. Despite spending most of his pro career in the Toronto organization, he’s only pitched in one MLB game as a Blue Jay. The rest of Bergen’s big league experience consists of 19.2 innings for the 2019 Giants and 6.2 innings for the Diamondbacks last year. Overall, he has a 4.82 ERA at the highest level. His 24% strikeout rate is fairly typical for a reliever, but Bergen has been plagued by a lofty 14.9% walk rate in his limited MLB time.
Between being selected in the 2019 Rule 5 draft and the lack of a minor-league season last year, Bergen has even less experience at Triple-A than he does in the big leagues. However, the 27-year-old struck out 43 against just nine walks with a 0.50 ERA in Double-A in 2018. Bergen has yet to reach arbitration and has three option years remaining, so the Jays can cheaply shuttle him back-and-forth between the majors and Triple-A Buffalo so long as he sticks on the 40-man roster.
Murphy has a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and hasn’t pitched in spring training, Mitchell notes. He made four relief appearances for Toronto last season.