The Blue Jays announced that David Phelps will break camp with the team, and that his minor league contract has been selected to the active roster.
The veteran right-hander will receive a $1.75MM salary, and Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith (via Twitter) reports that Phelps can earn another $1.75MM in incentives. Phelps gets an extra $250K for appearing in 35 games, and then additional $250K bonuses for every additional five appearances, topping out at the 65-game plateau.
Phelps is now set to play in what will be his 10th Major League season, and looks to rebound from an injury-shortened 2021. A ruptured lat muscle ended Phelps’ season after only 10 1/3 innings of work, and the 35-year-old said he even considered retiring rather than face such a lengthy recovery process. However, Phelps decided to give it another chance, and ended up re-signing with Toronto on a minors deal. It isn’t the first time Phelps has overcome a major injury, as he missed a big chunk of 2013 due to a forearm strain, and then all of the 2018 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
These stops and starts have perhaps made Phelps something of an underrated pitcher, especially since he became more or less a full-time reliever in 2016. Since the start of the 2016 campaign, Phelps has a 3.12 ERA and 29.9% strikeout rate over 207 2/3 innings with six different teams. Phelps is prone to some free passes (he also has a 10.4% walk rate over the last six seasons), but he has generally been a solid bullpen weapon when healthy. Toronto is hopeful that Phelps can continue this form in 2022, and add some depth to a relief corps that is pretty much unchanged from last year, barring the acquisition of Yimi Garcia.