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Blue Jays Acquire Ryan Burr From Phillies

The Phillies trade a minor league reliever Ryan Burr to the Blue Jays, Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reports (X link). The returns are not clear, but trades of this nature are often for monetary consideration.

Burr signed a minor league contract with Philadelphia in January. He wasn't on their 40-man roster and won't need to immediately replace the 40-man on the Jays (unless his contract contains some sort of upside clause that prompted a trade). Burr posted big numbers on the Phils' top farm team, so Toronto decided to call him up right away.

If Burr does meet with the Jays, it will be his first MLB job since 2022. The right-hander pitched in parts of four seasons with the White Sox between 2019-22. He had his best year in 2021, turning in a 2.45 ERA in a career-high 36 2/3 innings. Chicago released him the following season after he was injured in Triple-A. He pitched in the minors with the Rays last year, working to a 3.09 ERA over 23 1/3 innings. Tampa Bay didn't call him up, trading him to the Phils in free agency.

He got off to an even better start with the Philadelphia affiliate. Burr allowed just four runs in 16 2/3 innings. He struck out 29 of 67 opposing batters, a whopping 43.3% clip, against a 7.5% walk rate. He has struck out nearly a third of his opponents in 40 Triple-A frames over the past two seasons.

Philadelphia's bullpen has been around average in preventing runs, working to a 3.90 ERA that ranks 16th in MLB. They are seventh in strikeout rate, striking out nearly a quarter of the batters they face. The Toronto charity has been rocked hard. They are 27 for 19.6% and have allowed 4.77 earned runs per nine. Only the Rockies and Rangers have a higher bullpen ERA.

The Phils only have two relievers with minor league options: Orion Kerkering again Gregory Soto. Kerkering is one of their best relievers, while Soto is a veteran with a strong arm who is playing for a $5MM salary. Toronto has already chosen to struggle Erik Swanson and he can send down one of the Genesis Cabrera, Nate Pearson or Zach Pop if they want to give Burr a look against MLB hitters. Burr has a few options, so the Jays could potentially bring him back from Triple-A if they add him to the 40-man roster.

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