Blue Jays bolster bullpen, acquire Anthony Bass, Zach Pop from Marlins

Ben Nicholson-Smith joins Blake Murphy on Jays Talk Plus to discuss the Toronto Blue Jays moves on trade deadline day and explains why the addition of reliever Anthony Bass is a definite upgrade, but the team still needs to do more.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Toronto Blue Jays injected some velocity into their bullpen Tuesday, acquiring right-handers Anthony Bass and Canadian Zach Pop plus a player to be named from the Miami Marlins for infield prospect Jordan Groshans.

Bass, a set-up man and part-time closer for the 2020 Blue Jays team that reached the playoffs, is in the midst of a big season with a 1.41 ERA in 44.2 innings over 45 outings, striking out 45 while walking just 10 batters.

He’s done it throwing a slider with a 40.7-per-cent whiff rate. That pitch, used 56.8 per cent of the time, is complemented by a sinker that sits at 95.3 m.p.h. and a four-seamer at 95.1. The 34-year-old also has a seldom used splitter.

Bass is making $3 million this season and has a $3 million team option or $1 million buyout for next season.

Pop, meanwhile, is under contractual control for another four years after this one and has three options remaining.

The 25-year-old from Brampton, Ont., features a sinker that averages 96.5 m.p.h. and has helped him generate 63.6 per cent groundball rate. His whiff rate on the pitch is 19.7 per cent, but with a tiny 2.4-per-cent walk rate, he doesn’t beat himself.

Groshans, 22, was selected 12th overall in 2018 and posted a .644 OPS in 67 games at triple-A Buffalo this season. Baseball America ranked him as the club’s No. 3 prospect in their mid-season rankings.

The Blue Jays also announced left-hander Anthony Banda has been designated for assignment and that fellow lefty Andrew Vasquez was claimed off outright waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies.

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