By Chris Kline
December 8, 2005
The Blue Jays needed room on their 40-man roster for new closer B.J. Ryan, so the Athletics took righthander Chad Gaudin off their hands during the Winter Meetings, sending outfielder Dustin Majewski to Toronto to complete the deal right after the Rule 5 draft.
Gaudin, 22, emerged with the Devil Rays in 2003 after signing as an unheralded 34th-round pick in 2001 out of high school in suburban New Orleans. He went 5-3, 2.13 in the Cal League, then 2-0, 0.47 in the Double-A Southern League to earn a surprise promotion to Tampa Bay, where he went 2-0, 3.60 in 40 innings.
He has never quite recaptured the magic of that season but has been a workhorse, splitting 2004 between the big leagues and Triple-A before getting traded for catcher Kevin Cash last December. He set a career-high with 150 innings and two shutouts at Triple-A Syracuse in 2005 and finishing fourth in the International League in ERA. He finished the minor league season at 9-8, 3.35 and went 1-3, 13.15–allowing six homers in 13 innings–after a September callup to Toronto.
Gaudin is primarily a two-pitch pitcher, but changes speeds well and is aggressive, with bulldog makeup. His fastball ranges from 86-92 mph, and his slider rates as average. If he continues to make strides with his changeup he could stay in a starting role, but more realistically he projects as a middle reliever.
Majewski, a third-round pick in 2003 out of Texas, batted .272-20-73 at high Class A Stockton this season. Majewski led the Big 12 Conference in batting (.401) in 2002 and in RBIs (85) in 2003 while with the Longhorns. The 24-year-old showed emerging power in the hitter-friendly Class A California League this year but profiles as a fourth outfielder.
Majewski has tremendous desire and work ethic that allows his solid-average tools to play higher. While he doesn’t have true center field speed or range, he is versatile enough to fill in at any spot.