Blue Jays Add Veteran Righties Clay Buchholz and Bud Norris

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 08: Clay Buchholz #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch in the first inning of the MLB game against the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field on September 8, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

In an attempt to solidify their pitching depth, the Blue Jays have signed two veteran arms to their roster. Clay Buchholz and Bud Norris were both signed to reportedly one-year contracts. Both deals reportedly worth a base salary of $3 million. But, will also include incentives for both players. Jon Heyman with MLB Network shared the breakdown:

Clay Buchholz’s Impact

The 34-year-old has battled multiple injuries over the last few seasons. But, he displayed in 16 games last season, that he’s still capable of being effective at the major-league level. In those 16 games, Buchholz’s recorded a 2.01 ERA, 1.037 WHIP, 7.4 K/9 along with performing to a record of 7-2.

Buchholz has had a recent history of dealing with tendon tears and strains in his right pitching arm. He missed all of the 2017 season because of a tear in that tendon, and his season was cut short last year because of a strain in that same tendon.

However, the limited appearances show that Buchholz’s can be an effective depth piece in the Blue Jays’ rotation. After his deal is made official, it will be key for him to get as much work in as he can before the team heads north, as he has only appeared in 18 games over the last two seasons.

Bud Norris’ Impact

The former sixth-round draft pick has seen his role transition from the starting rotation, to the bullpen over the last few seasons. Norris has been utilized as a late-inning bullpen player over the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Angles and St. Louis Cardinals.

Norris has recorded 47 saves over those past two seasons. He also recorded a 3.59 ERA, 1.249 WHIP and a 10.5 K/9 in 64 appearances with the Cardinals last season. Even though he isn’t a starter anymore, he has transitioned into a very effective eighth or ninth inning reliever.

The 35-year-old signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays. But, it will likely include an invite to spring training. So, he will be given an opportunity to show if he’s still that same effective reliever that he has been recently.

Roster Impact

Both players could have a major impact on the Blue Jays this season. If healthy, Buchholz is capable of fighting for one of the starting rotation spots. The team currently has Matt Shoemaker and Clayton Richard as the options in the rotation behind Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez.

So, that means that Buchholz will have to battle with Ryan Borucki for the last spot in the rotation. For Norris, if he can perform similar to the player he has been over the last two seasons. Then, he could be utilized alongside Ryan Tepera as another late inning option for the Blue Jays.

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