The Blue Jays signed Franklin Morales to a $2M/1 yr Minors deal and it signals two important things about Shapiro-Atkins regime: they aren’t completely content with the current roster and they’ll continue to improve it, and; if they can improve an ML position and push talent with options to teiple-A Buffalo they’ll do it.
Back in November when the Jays’ off-season began their management needed to build a stronger pen as the 2015 version was weak in experienced mid-inning arms until the trade deadline when Lowe and Hawkins were acquired. With an average rotation April to July 2015, the Jays pen was increasingly made more important to team success.
Enter the playoffs and the lack of lefty talent was obvious once Loup was unavailable, and it became a disaster the instant Cecil got injured. The Jays desperately needed a quality LHP for the pen to tag team with Cecil moving forward. Loup had been good, but the club needed better insurance.
I had hoped Tony Sipp would be signed to a two or three year deal this off-season (a former 46th round pick of Cleveland in 2004). I posted Sipp would be a smart signing, however the FA market was crazy for pitching. Sipp eventually signed a $18M/3 yr deal to stay in Houston and other good LHP targets (i.e. Bastardo) continued the high cost trend. The next tier of lefty relievers available included Franklin Morales, who ended up inking a Minors deal with the Brewers.
Morales signed with the rebuilding Brewers as he must have thought going to a young, struggling staff would afford him more ML time. In the end, it seems the Brewers like Capuano better and Morales had an ML opportunity with the Jays.
This signing doesn’t seem all that important, rather it seems fairly obvious in terms of the club addressing needs, but taken in context of previous years this signing does mark a shift. Shapiro-Atkins are replenishing missing pitching from the Anthopolous era and they’re ensuring sufficient depth is in triple-A for when the ML club needs it.