It was a pretty short stint for Wisler in free agency, as the Tigers just released him from an earlier minors deal last week. After signing with Detroit in the offseason, Wisler didn’t receive a call-up, as his 2023 campaign has been spent entirely at Triple-A Toledo. The righty posted a 4.40 ERA over 47 innings with the Mud Hens, with a solid 25.2% strikeout rate but also an uncharacteristically high 12.4% walk rate.
Jordan Romano and Trevor Richards could both be back from the 15-day injured list within the week, but signing Wisler is a no-risk move that gives the Blue Jays a bit of extra bullpen depth at Triple-A. Toronto’s relief corps has been a strength all season, but with the Jays in a tight battle for a wild card berth, any extra pitching could be a help in the event of a future injury, or a performance drop-off by any of the current relivers. Wisler brings plenty of experience, as a veteran of eight Major League seasons with seven different teams from 2015-22.
The last three of those seasons have been very productive in a bottom-line sense, as Wisler has a 2.59 ERA over 118 innings with the Twins, Giants, and Rays since the start of the 2020 campaign. However, his 3.68 SIERA is notable higher, as some shaky peripherals have kept Wisler as a journeyman rather than locking down a spot in a big league bullpen. The Twins opted to non-tender Wisler after the 2020 season due to an ungainly 13.2% walk rate, and he benefited from a lot of BABIP luck in both 2020 (.241) and in 2022 (.198) as a member of the Rays. Wisler also had a notable velocity drop last season, further informing Tampa Bay’s decision to outright him off their 40-man roster last September.