Veteran southpaw specialist Randy Choate has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays.
Choate is 40 years and has always been strictly used for one or two left-handed batters at a time, but if Toronto is willing to devote a roster spot to a pitcher who might only throw 25-30 innings all season he’s death on lefties.
Last season Choate appeared in 71 games and logged just 27.1 innings for the Cardinals. He’s spent 15 seasons in the majors, but has topped 40 innings just three times and has never thrown more than 51 innings. So why do teams keep wanting Choate in their bullpen? Because he’s held lefties to a .195 batting average for his career.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Dodgers are close to signing reliever Joe Kelly. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is for three years and around $25 million.
Kelly, 30, posted a 4.39 ERA with a 68/32 K/BB ratio in 65 2/3 innings out of the Red Sox bullpen during the regular season in 2018. He turned it up a notch in the postseason, limiting the opposition to two runs (one earned) in 11 1/3 innings with a 13/0 K/BB ratio.
With the Red Sox, Kelly mostly pitched seventh and eighth innings ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel. He will likely do the same ahead of closer Kenley Jansen, sharing the workload with Pedro Báez.