Blue Jays designate Purcey for assignment

Blue Jays designate Purcey for assignment

Blue Jays designate Purcey for assignment
SEATTLE -- Left-hander David Purcey was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Tuesday afternoon.

The 28-year-old entered Spring Training expecting to be a major component of Toronto's bullpen, but his inability to throw strikes on a consistent basis ultimately cost him a job.

Purcey walked four batters in 2 1/3 innings this season. Over his four-year career in the Major Leagues, he has averaged 4.7 walks per nine innings.

"With respect to David, the last few outings in the spring weren't great, the three outings here," said Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. "That's always been the issue with him. He has always had a tremendous arm, great teammate, and the issue has always been command and the ability to throw strikes."

The Oklahoma native was out of options on his contract and could not be sent down to the Minor Leagues without being designated for assignment. The Blue Jays now have 10 days to decide whether to trade, release or place Purcey on waivers.

"I expect to be able to trade him," Anthopoulos said. "Because he's out of options, we have 10 days to do something with him, and I've had enough interest from other clubs that I believe we'll be able to move him before that 10-day window expires."

Purcey's last game in a Blue Jays uniform likely occurred Monday night against Seattle. He was asked to protect a 7-1 lead in the eighth inning but managed to retire just one of the four batters he faced.

The 16th overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Purcey was 5-10 with a 5.42 ERA in 59 career games with Toronto. The Blue Jays gave him plenty of time to develop at both the Minor and Major League levels, but the club felt it had to pull the plug because of his contract situation.

"It's not a matter of running out of patience with him -- we ran out of options with him," Anthopoulos said. "Options in the ability to send him to the Minor Leagues, because right now, with the way he is throwing, the ideal scenario for us would have been for him to have an option to go down to work out the problems to get his command back.

"The fact that he is out of options, these are the choices that we had to make, and hopefully we'll be able to find a spot for him, which I feel confident that we will."