Blue Jays trade for veteran starting pitcher Chase Anderson

The Toronto Blue Jays on Monday announced they have acquired right-hander Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league first baseman Chad Spanberger.

Toronto also cuts ties with Ryan Tepera, outrights Devon Travis to triple-A

Chase Anderson, whom the Blue Jays have acquired from Milwaukee, posted a 4.21 earned-run average across 32 appearances (27 starts) with the Brewers in 2019. He's only two years removed from a career-best 2.74 ERA. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images/File)

The Brewers cut $15 million US in payroll for next season, trading right-hander Chase Anderson to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday for prospect Chad Spanberger and declining a $7.5 million option on first baseman Eric Thames.

Anderson was 8-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 27 starts and five relief appearances. Milwaukee had planned to decline his $8.5 million option, which would have made him eligible for salary arbitration, and Toronto exercised the option following the trade.

Thames, who turns 33 on Sunday, hit .247 with 25 homers and 61 RBIs in 149 games last season. He will receive a $1 million buyout.

Signed to $16 million, three-year contract after establishing himself in the South Korean League, Thames hit 59 homers in three seasons with Milwaukee.

While Thames does not have six years of major league service, his contract included a provision stating he would become a free agent when the deal ended.

"We'll continue to be in touch with Eric and his agent and we'll see if there's a fit at some point later in the off-season but at this point, at the dollar value associated with his club option and with the market we see developing at that position, we thought it was in the best interest to decline the option," Brewers general manager David Stearns said.

Anderson, 31, was 38-27 with a 3.38 ERA in 166 appearances over four seasons with the Brewers, who acquired him with infielders Aaron Hill and Isan Diaz from Arizona in January 2016 for Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner.

Anderson went 12-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 2017 and signed an $11.75 million, two-year contract with a pair of club options.

"Given there was a team that clearly had interest in him and we were able to get back a prospect that we liked, we thought it was the right move to make," Stearns said.

Spanberger, a first baseman and outfielder, hit .237 with 13 homers and 59 RBIs this season at Double-A New Hampshire. Selected by Colorado in the sixth round of the 2017 amateur draft, he was acquired by Toronto in the July 2018 trade that sent reliever Seunghwan Oh to Colorado.

"We think he fills in nicely at the upper levels of the minor league system," Stearns said.

Jays re-open triple-A shuttle

The Blue Jays also did some off-season housekeeping on Monday night, moving players between their Major League Baseball roster and triple A.

Pitchers Ryan Borucki, Tim Mayza and Matt Shoemaker as well as outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., were reinstated from the 60-day injured list.

Pitchers Buddy Boshers, Brock Stewart and Ryan Dull as well as second baseman Devon Travis were outrighted to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Boshers elected to go into free agency.

Right-handed pitcher Ryan Tepera was designated for assignment.

Borucki began the 2019 season on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on April 15, retroactive to March 25. He made four rehab starts across three levels before being reinstated on July 21.

The lefty recorded two starts with Toronto before returning to the injured list on July 31, retroactive to July 28, with left elbow inflammation for the remainder of the season. He underwent surgery to remove a spur in his left elbow on Aug. 8.

With files from The Canadian Press