Trade Central: Blue Jays Trade Jordan Groshans For Relievers Zach Pop and Anthony Bass

Image credit: Anthony Bass (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

In a move meant to fortify the Blue Jays bullpen, the team acquired relievers Zach Pop and Anthony Bass and a player to be named later from Miami in exchange for its No. 3 prospect, shortstop Jordan Groshans. The Blue Jays have struggled to find consistency in their bullpen as their group ranks fourth in the American League East in reliever ERA—and the worst among competing American League teams. Both Bass and Pop provide the Blue Jays with a pair of hard-throwing righthanders to provide innings leading up to closer Jordan Romano


Anthony Bass, RHP
Age: 34

A fifth-round pick of the Padres back in 2008, Bass has seen major league time in parts of 11 seasons dating back to 2011, and has made 20 or more appearances nine times over the course of his career. He’s spent time with seven different clubs including a prior stint in Toronto during the 2020 season. Bass has been among the best relievers in Miami over the past two seasons, appearing in 115 games with a 2.80 ERA and 35 holds. He should immediately give the Blue Jays another veteran option in the seventh or eighth inning. 

Zach Pop, RHP

A seventh-round pick of the Dodgers back in 2017, Pop is technically with his fifth organization. He was originally moved to the Orioles as a part of the Manny Machado deal, then selected by the D-backs in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft and immediately traded to Miami for a player to be named later. He’s spent parts of the past two seasons with the Marlins, making 68 appearances over the last two seasons with a 3.98 ERA and a 59.2% groundball rate. Pop’s ability to drive ground ball contact is his primary selling point, as his groundball rate is well above major league average. While he lacks the swing-and-miss upside common with many relievers, Pop provides a useful skill with another year of control before he hits arbitration in 2024. 


Jordan Groshans, SS

The 12th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Groshans had a promising but injury plagued start to his professional career. After having good health for the better part of the past two seasons Groshans has shown advanced bat-to-ball skills, hitting .270 with a .354 on-base percentage and an 18.2% strikeout rate, but with a startling lack of impact. Groshans has slugged just .374 with eight home runs over his last 615 plate appearances dating back to May of 2021, and has hit just a single home run in 2022 over 279 plate appearances with Triple-A Buffalo. There’s little question that Groshans can hit for contact and get on base, but he’s been unable to hit for pop likely due to below-average raw power. Groshans’ average exit velocity of 87.8 mph and max exit velocity of 107 mph would rank toward the bottom third in MLB. He’s shown enough barrel control and strike-zone awareness that there are still many that believe Groshans can develop into an above-average major league hitter. Defensively he is a competent shortstop with the ability to play every position in the infield. Groshans is a close-to-the-majors everyday player but one with a major question mark attached. 

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