With eight relievers on the injured list and the Blue Jays’ bullpen having had a rough go for the past month, the front office completed a trade on Saturday, sending double-A starter Troy Miller to the New York Mets for the recently DFAed right-hander Jacob Barnes.
Barnes, 31, had three decent seasons in relief for the Brewers to start his major league career but has since struggled to hold down a role in a major league bullpen, having been designated for assignment three times. The Mets picked him up from the Angels on waivers this past offseason. He was ineffective for the Mets, having given up six home runs in his 18 innings pitched while striking out just under one per inning. In his final game at Flushing, Barnes gave up a grand slam to Fernando Tatis Jr. and a solo shot to Manny Machado back-to-back. Two days later he was DFAed when Sean Reid-Foley was activated.
Miller, 24, had a scorching start with the high-A Vancouver Canadians and was promoted after three games. He had good debut for New Hampshire, but had since struggled. Miller’s last outing for the Fisher Cats was as a pseudo-starter, pitching in a continuation of a suspended game from the previous day. He pitched five innings, but allowed six runs on 12 hits (five doubles and two homers).
Ultimately this is likely going to be seen as a minor trade in franchise history, one made out of need. The Blue Jays get a reliever who can be relied to throw a few low-leverage innings for a little more than the standard cost for a waiver selection, the Mets get a minor league innings-thrower, and we will get a new line on the Blue Jays Roster Tree Route Map.