September 17, 2021

Blue Jays, A.J. Cole Agree To Minor League Deal (MLB Trade Rumors)

The Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander A.J. Cole, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports (via Twitter).

Cole, 27, spent the 2019 campaign with the Indians, for whom he tallied 26 innings of 3.81 ERA ball with 10.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.38 HR/9 and a 30.8 percent ground-ball rate. Once regarded as one of the game’s top pitching prospects, Cole has yet to establish himself as a consistent MLB contributor but has demonstrated some intriguing traits since moving to the bullpen on a full-time basis in 2018.

Over his past 62 innings between the Indians and Yankees, Cole has worked to a 4.21 ERA with 11.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. He’s still been far too homer-prone (1.89 per nine) and may always struggle a bit in that regard thanks to his extreme fly-ball tendencies (32.2 percent grounder rate), but Cole could also stand to benefit a bit if next year’s ball is a bit less charged. The 6’5″, 238-pound righty averaged 94.2 mph on his heater between his time with New York and…

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