The A’s announced they’ve claimed lefty reliever Anthony Kay off waivers from the Mets. New York had attempted to outright him off the 40-man roster last week.
Kay, a UCONN product, was selected by the Mets with the #31 pick in the 2016 draft. The Mets sent him to the Blue Jays as part of the Marcus Stroman deal. Kay pitched parts of four seasons with the Jays, working to a 5.48 ERA through 70 2/3 innings. Toronto lost him on waivers to the Cubs last offseason.
While Chicago quickly ran Kay through waivers themselves, they added him back to the roster in mid-June. He pitched 13 times for the Cubs, allowing eight runs in 11 1/3 innings. The Mets snagged him back via waivers with a couple weeks left in the season. He made four appearances with his original organization, working 3 2/3 frames of three-run ball to close the year. Kay’s fastball sat just under 95 MPH on average, yet he managed just an 11:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio between the two clubs.
The 28-year-old has yet to find much major league success. He has allowed 5.67 earned runs per nine, striking out an average 22.4% of batters faced against a lofty 12% walk rate. Kay showed some intriguing swing-and-miss numbers in Triple-A this year, combining for a 3.76 ERA while fanning over a third of opponents in 40 2/3 frames. While a 13.3% walk percentage still hints at real control woes, the solid minor league season and his decent velocity intrigued the A’s front office.
Kay is out of options, so the A’s can’t send him to the minors without first running him through waivers (at which point he’d have the ability to elect free agency). If they keep him on the 40-man roster all offseason, he’d need to secure a job in the MLB bullpen.