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Free prospect alert! Blue Jays DFA Sam Dyson

Brad White

The Blue Jays have designated pitcher Sam Dyson for assignment to make way for Mark DeRosa, and Dyson might warrant consideration for a waiver claim, in part because his background is so unusual for a player who's just been DFAed.

Dyson was drafted in the fourth round in 2010, but didn't make his pro debut until 2012 because he had Tommy John surgery almost immediately after signing. He mostly pitched in Classes A+ and AA in 2012, putting up bizarre stat lines in which he struck out almost no one but still managed to keep runs off the board, thanks in part to an excellent ground ball rate. In July, the Jays for some reason promoted him, which is why he was on their 40-man roster. He pitched in two games and got rocked, and that was it. He got a little more work in the Arizona Fall League, where he allowed six runs in 7.2 innings but did strike out eight batters.

Here's why he's interesting. The low strikeout rates this year can probably be partially dismissed, since Dyson was in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. He has very good stuff, with a fastball that comes in anywhere from 91-95 MPH and moves all over the place (which explains the high ground ball rate) -- then-Jays manager John Farrell said in July that Dyson might have the best stuff in the entire Toronto organization. Also, he has options left. So as long as you put in a claim for him, you can ship him to the minors and keep him there for two years, as long as you're willing to use a 40-man spot on him. So essentially, you're getting a fairly interesting pitching prospect for practically nothing.

Dyson wouldn't be an option for the 2013 bullpen, at least not at first. He really shouldn't have been in the majors this year at all, and his fragility (the Tommy John wasn't his first major injury) is a red flag going forward. But if the only cost of acquiring him is a spot on the 40-man roster, he's surely worth a look.