The Blue Jays boosted their bullpen on Thursday morning, acquiring closer Brad Hand from the Nationals in exchange for catcher Riley Adams.
OFFICIAL: We've acquired LHP Brad Hand from the Nationals in exchange for C Riley Adams.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 29, 2021
A 3-time All-Star, Hand owns a career 3.65 ERA and led @MLB in saves last season. pic.twitter.com/2w8gjAXvhT
Hand, 31, has been one of the most reliable closers in baseball for the last half-decade, and while this is the least consistent season he’s had in a while, he’s still a major addition to Toronto’s bullpen. Hand has a 3.59 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 18 walks in 42.2 innings, and he’s earned 21 saves in 41 appearances. He’ll provide a left-handed option in the late innings to go along with the right-handed Jordan Romano, who has done an outstanding job as Toronto’s primary closer this year.
Adams, 25, was a third-round pick in the 2017 draft and was ranked as the No. 17 prospect in the Blue Jays system by MLB Pipeline. He made his major league debut earlier this season, going 3 for 28 with two doubles, two walks, and 12 strikeouts in 30 plate appearances. He has been pretty good in Triple-A this season, hitting .239/.371/.487 with six doubles, a triple, and seven homers over 143 PAs. He’ll be the sixth catcher on Washington’s 40-man roster, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he soon replaced veteran backup René Rivera on the major league roster.