The Toronto Blue Jays and reliever Al Alburquerque have an agreement that would give the veteran reliever a minor league deal with a chance to make the team with an invitation to Spring Training. Shi Davidi of Sportsner reported the news first.
Alburquerque started his MLB career with the Detroit Tigers from 2011-2015. In those 5 years in the Motor City, he posted a solid 3.20 ERA in 225 innings (241 games).
In addition, Alburquerque averaged 11.0 K/9 and just 0.6 HR/9 in his run with the Tigers. He had a 60.2 percent usage rate on his wipeout slider, which helps result in a high strikeout rate, plus he throws a flaming fastball that rises.
However, his control was an issue. Alburquerque averaged 5.0 walks per nine innings in that span. So, eventually like all good things come to an end, his time in Detroit did due to numbers dropping off.
Since leaving Detroit, Double A has bounced all over the league trying to find a steady job, but that has not panned out. He bounced around with the Angels, Mariners, Royals and White Sox.
Finally, He did post a strong 2.87 ERA with 10.3 K/9 against just 2.4 BB/9 in 37 1/3 Triple-A frames last season with the Triple-A team of the Chicago White Sox.
Note: Al did pitch in the majors last year for a limited time for the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox recording a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings, plus striking out 14 batters.
Prediction: I think the 31-year old right-handed reliever wins a spot in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen.