Blue Jays ink Thomson, re-sign Frasor
The Toronto Blue Jays seem to have abandoned their pursuit of a big-ticket starting pitcher, settling for former Atlanta Braves right-hander John Thomson on Tuesday.
Injured for much of the past two seasons, Thomson will earn $500,000 US on a one-year deal and compete with Casey Janssen, Shaun Marcum and Josh Towers for two spots behind Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett and Gustavo Chacin.
"It's pretty much low risk high reward for both of us," Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told the Canadian Press on Tuesday. "We're just trying to take a chance."
Ricciardi will also take another chance on relief pitcher Jason Frasor, who re-upped with the Blue Jays for $825,000 on Tuesday.
Ricciardi had been dangling all-star outfielder Alex Rios since baseball's winter meetings in December in hopes of acquiring a more established pitcher, but now appears ready to go mostly with what he has in house.
Thomson posted a 14-8 record with a 3.72 earned-run average during a stellar 2004 season with the Braves, but has battled finger and shoulder injuries.
He went 2-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 games last year, throwing just 80 1/3 innings because of mild fraying in his right shoulder and blister problems on his throwing hand.
Thomson, 33, was limited to 98 2/3 frames in a 2005 season plagued by a middle finger tendon injury.
"If he's healthy, we think he can give us some innings and help us in that role. We're just trying to sign as much depth as we possibly can get," said Ricciardi.
"We think with our offence we're going to score runs, so if someone can go out there and give us some innings, that guy may reap the benefits."
Reliever takes 1-year deal
Frasor, who split time between Toronto and triple-A Syracuse, agreed to a one-year contract.
"We're just looking for a little more consistency which he showed at the end of the year," Ricciardi said.
"The guy had 17 saves as a rookie a couple of years ago. He's done some really good things for us. I think last year he just hit a bit of a snag, but he went down and got himself right, and pitched well in the second half."
Frasor was 3-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 51 games with the Blue Jays last season.
Frasor could make an additional $75,000 in performance bonuses this year. $25,000 for appearing in 55 games, and another $25,000 for appearing in 70 games; $10,000 for 60 games and $15,000 for 65 games.
Four Blue Jays remain eligible for arbitration: pitcher Scott Downs, outfielders Reed Johnson and Alex Rios, and first baseman Lyle Overbay.
With files from the Canadian Press