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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: Trevor Richards

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Richards is a 29-year-old, right-handed reliever. He turns 30 in May. He looks some older than that, with gray hair.

Trevor came to us in trade from the Brewers and Bowden Francis for Rowdy Tellez in July of 2021. Trading an everyday player for a reliever isn’t a favourite move of mine, but then Tellez wasn’t an everyday player for us.

In the year and a half since the trade, Rowdy has hit .231/.312/.466 with 42 home runs in 209 games. Baseball Reference has him at a 1.1 WAR for that time.

Francis got hit pretty hard in Buffalo this past season. He had a 6.59 ERA in 98.1 innings. He got into one game with the Jays, pitching 23 of an inning. He’s off the 40-man now, but he is a spring invite. He turns 27 in April, so if he’s going to have an MLB career, he ought to have a terrific spring. I think he’s well down the list on the starting pitcher depth chart. His best chance is to show well and hope another team takes a liking to him.

Since the trade, Trevor has made 94 relief appearances in the season and a half, with a 4.66 ERA, with 13 holds. He struck out 29.2% of the batters he faced.

His 2021 half-season with us was pretty good, he had a 3.31 ERA, and batters hit .175/.248/.364 against him. Last year wasn’t near as good, 5.34 ERA and batters hit .238/.322/.396. Part of it may have been a neck strain injury, which put him on the IL in June.

He was used for more than an inning 17 times and went a full two innings or more three times. I’m not sure that they thought of him as a possible longman or if these games were most blowouts, and they didn’t want to use any of the more ‘high leverage’ arms in these games. We were 3-14 in the games where Trevor went more than one inning.

Looking at Baseball Reference, they say he pitched to 36 batters in ‘high leverage’ situations and 164 batters in low leverage situations.

We were 22-39 in games he appeared in, so he wasn’t used to in games we were winning a heck of a lot. Richards had 8 holds, but most of those were early in the season. He had 6 holds by the end of May and then didn’t have another until near the end of August.

Richards throws a fastball (93.4 MPH average last year), change and slider.

He has much more competition to beat out to throw high-leverage innings this year. He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract in January to avoid arbitration.

Steamer predicts he’ll pitch in 54 games, 54 innings with a 3.90 ERA.

I think he won’t get into that many games. Looking at our pen, if up to me, I don’t think he would make the team. What he has going for him is a guaranteed contract. Still, it is only $1.5 million (I would never say “only $1.5 million” about anything other than baseball, $1.5 million is a lot of money elsewhere). I think we have a dozen guys I would rather have in our pen than Richards. But then some of those guys have options and could be kept in Buffalo. Depth is important, but I see a lot of guys I’d rather see coming out of the pen.

I think spring training will be important for Richards. He will have to show well to win a job on the team or get any high-leverage innings.


If the over/under on Richard’s innings pitched for the Jays is 54, I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    (59 votes)
  • 77%
    (204 votes)
263 votes total Vote Now


If the over/under for Richard’s ERA is 3.90 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    (167 votes)
  • 35%
    (90 votes)
257 votes total Vote Now


By September Richards will be a

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    High leverage arm in the pen.
    (16 votes)
  • 38%
    Low leverage arm in the pen.
    (108 votes)
  • 55%
    No longer with the Blue Jays.
    (154 votes)
278 votes total Vote Now