Last month the A’s bought left-hander Brad Mills from the Brewers for the princely sum of one dollar. Then, after promoting him to the majors and giving him three starts the A’s designated him assignment. And now the Blue Jays have claimed Mills off waivers.
Mills actually began his career in Toronto. He was the Blue Jays’ fourth-round pick in 2007 out of the University of Arizona and debuted for them in 2007. He’s bounced around a ton since then, including spending time in five organizations since the beginning of last season.
Mills is a marginal big leaguer and at age 29 there’s no real upside to be had, but he held his own in three starts for Oakland and was really good at Triple-A for Milwaukee’s affiliate before being sold for a buck, posting a 1.56 ERA and 77/18 K/BB ratio in 75 innings.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.