|White Sox general manager Ken Williams participated in the final trade of the year 2011 and rang in the new year in style, trading righty reliever Jason Frasor back to the Blue Jays for two pitching prospects in the first deal of 2012. Toronto sent a pair of far-off righthanders to Chicago in the form of Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb. Neither has advanced past low Class A, and Jaye just completed his debut season in the Rookie-level Appalachian League.
Williams continues to stockpile pitching prospects as he deals from Chicago’s veteran core, placing his trust in esteemed minor league pitching coordinator Kirk Champion and big league pitching coach Don Cooper. Plus, the White Sox have replacements on hand for all the players they’ve traded or lost this offseason. Dayan Viciedo will step in for Carlos Quentin in right field; Addison Reed may succeed Sergio Santos as closer; Chris Sale takes departed free agent Mark Buehrle’s place in the rotation; while Chicago can call on one of its prospect acquisitions to take Frasor’s place in the bullpen.
The Blue Jays completed their offseason bullpen makeover with the acquisition of Frasor, who joins Sergio Santos (acquired in an earlier trade with the White Sox) and free agent signee Darren Oliver. Frasor has spent all but two months of his eight-year career with the Blue Jays. He headed to Chicago last July 27 for Edwin Jackson in the first leg of the Chicago-St. Louis-Toronto three-team, 11-player blockbuster that landed Colby Rasmus north of the border and Jackson, Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski on the World Series-champion Cardinals.
Fun fact: In the last 20 years, Frasor and Tom Gordon are the only two pitchers as short as 5-foot-9 to spend any significant time working as a closer. Frasor has racked up 36 career saves, while Gordon retired in 2009 with 158 saves. Frasor has demonstrated remarkable durability for a reliever (he’s worked at least 50 games in each of his eight seasons, except for 2008 when he appeared in 49) as well as a consistent ability to retire righthanders (career line: .228/.302/.354 over 1,101 plate appearances). He holds the Blue Jays franchise record for appearances with 455.
|White Sox Acquire|
|Myles Jaye, rhp
Born: Dec. 28, 1991 in Fayetteville, Ga.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 170. Bats: B. Throws: R.
School: Starrs Mill HS, Fayetteville, Ga.
Career Transactions: Selected by Blue Jays in 17th round of 2010 draft; signed Aug. 15, 2010.
Jaye signed for $250,000 at the 2010 draft signing deadline and made his pro debut with Bluefield last year. A two-way player in high school, he attracted attention from the Blue Jays with his arm speed, fastball life and command. Jaye sat 85-86 mph and scraped 91 in high school, but he was touching 95 by the time instructional league rolled around in 2010. Tall and lean, Jaye has an athletic delivery. His fastball has good sink to it, but his secondary stuff is a work in progress. He has shown feel for a changeup and started working with a slider in pro ball after using a curve in high school. Jaye offers intriguing upside but is several years away.
|Daniel Webb, rhp
Born: Aug. 18, 1989 in Paducah, Ky.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 210. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Northwest Florida State JC.
Career Transactions: Selected by Blue Jays in 18th round of 2009 draft; signed Aug. 17, 2009.
Webb pulled down $450,000 at the 2009 draft signing deadline as the top pitching prospect from Florida junior college ranks. He neglected to sign with the Diamondbacks as a 12th-round pick out of high school in 2008, a year in which just two prep righties went in the draft’s first round—Ethan Martin and Gerrit Cole. Webb ranked as No. 48 overall draft prospect that year. He has a good pitcher’s frame and a live arm that produces a plus fastball, but most scouts think he’ll eventually move to the bullpen because of his slingy arm action and lack of command. He shows feel for a changeup, but his curveball still needs work.
|Blue Jays Acquire|
|Jason Frasor, rhp
Age: 34. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $3.75 million.
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.