Blue Jays get help in the bullpen from Canadian Zach Pop, bring Anthony Bass back

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The Toronto Blue Jays solidified their bullpen hours before Tuesday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline, acquiring relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop from the Miami Marlins for shortstop prospect Jordan. Groshans.

The Jays also acquired a player who will be named later in the deal.

Bass, 34, is 2-3 with a 1.41 ERA in 44 2/3 innings with the Marlins this season, with 45 strikeouts and 10 walks.

He spent the 2020 season with Toronto, posting a 2-3 record with a 3.51 ERA in 26 appearances.

Bass will get the chance to pitch in meaningful games in front of Blue Jays fans, something he didn’t get to do during his first stint with the club. The Blue Jays played home games during the shortened 2020 season at Sahlen Field, home of the triple-A Buffalo Bison, due to COVID-19 restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border.

“You go to a team that has a chance to go to the playoffs, which is what we always want to do as players,” Bass told reporters in Miami before the Marlins hosted the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.

“Our end goal is to win the World Series. So that part is exciting, going to Toronto for that opportunity.”

Pop, 25, from Brampton, Ont., is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 18 appearances for the Marlins this season, his second in the majors.

“Special” to come home

He was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 23rd round of the 2014 MLB Draft, but decided against signing and instead played collegiately at the University of Kentucky.

Pop, who says he grew up a Blue Jays fan, called the news of the trade “bittersweet” but said he was looking forward to playing closer to home.

“It’s pretty special to be able to come home and see my family and play for the Blue Jays,” he told reporters in Miami before the Marlins hosted the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.

“I have a lot of friends, a lot of people supporting them right now, and to be a part of what they’re doing there is pretty amazing.”

Groshans, 22, was selected 12th overall by the Blue Jays in the 2018 MLB Draft.

In 67 games with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, he hit .250 with a home run and 24 RBIs.

In other moves, left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda was designated for an assignment and left-hander Andrew Vasquez was claimed outright waivers by Philadelphia.

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