Left-hander Anthony Banda has chosen to become a free agent, rather than accept an outright assignment to the Blue Jays’ Triple-A team. Toronto designated Banda for assignment after the trade deadline, and he cleared outright waivers yesterday. Since Banda has previously been outrighted in his career, he was eligible to reject the Jays’ assignment in favor of testing the open market.
The Blue Jays acquired Banda from the Pirates for cash considerations in early July, adding a bit of left-handed relief depth to the bullpen. Banda appeared in seven games with the Jays (including one appearance as an opener), and posted a 4.26 ERA over 7 1/3 innings. For the 2022 season as a whole, Banda has a 5.88 ERA in 26 combined frames with Toronto and Pittsburgh.
Just a couple of days away from his 29th birthday, Banda now hits the open market in search of another change of scenery. A veteran of seven different MLB organizations, Banda has had playing time at the big league level with five of those clubs since debuting in 2017. Given that Tim Mayza was just placed on the 15-day injured list, it might not be surprising to see the Blue Jays pursue a quick reunion with Banda, in order to add another left-hander to Toronto’s thin array of southpaws.