July 5, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Sam Gaviglio (43) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth inning at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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Former Blue Jays pitcher Sam Gaviglio signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week, including an invite to spring practice. The message was first reported by Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors.
Blue Jays fans who have followed the team for at least a few years will remember the right-hander from a 2018-2020 stint in Toronto. He worked as both a starting pitcher and reliever, making a total of 24 starts and 82 appearances. Over that time he was 7-13 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.318 WHIP. He also managed to bat 194 over 222.1 innings and was a reliable arm for the Blue Jays at times, despite the rough-looking totals.
Arguably his best season came in 2018 when the Blue Jays had no choice but to rely on him in 24 starts that season. He was actually pretty decent as a starter in the first half before falling off a bit before the All-Star break, and things got worse from there, really hurting his overalls. He transitioned to a bullpen role the following year, where he made 52 appearances and made a fairly significant contribution, and he also finished that season with an underrated 1.118 WHIP.
Dodgers have signed right-hander Sam Gaviglio in a minor league deal, a source confirms @Adams_Steve Report. Including an invitation to the big league spring training session. Has made 98 appearances (37 starts) with Mariners, Royals and Blue Jays since 2017.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) January 28, 2022
Unfortunately, he only pitched 3.0 innings in the major leagues last season, and after the Blue Jays let him go, he didn’t fare much better in Rangers’ organization. He spent the 2021 campaign in Triple-A, where he posted a 5.13 ERA and a 1.405 WHIP over 26.1 innings without urging Texas to put him on the big league pitching team.
With the MLB lockout still ongoing, teams cannot sign big league free agents just yet. However, the same rule does not apply to players signing MiLB deals, which is why Gaviglio was able to join the Dodgers organization now instead of having to wait. Hopefully that’ll change soon, but for now, that’s the kind of hot news we need to bring you freehand.