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Blue Jays’ Julian Merryweather on being traded for Josh Donaldson: ‘I guess it’s MVP or bust’

Latest Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Julian Merryweather, obtained for previous MVP Josh Donaldson, is having that actuality in stride.

The suitable-hander, who is recovering from Tommy John medical procedures, joked to reporters at Blue Jays Wintertime Fest on Friday that he has to match Donaldson’s accolade to justify the trade.

“I guess it is really MVP or bust for me, which is kind of what I am up against this 12 months,” Merryweather informed reporters in attendance.

More: Blue Jays get Julian Merryweather to comprehensive Donaldson trade

Toronto formally additional Merryweather in Oct as the “player to be named later” in the Donaldson trade that happened in late August. An impending free of charge agent who had missed most of the season owing to a quad damage, Donaldson slashed .280/.400/.520 with a few property operates and 7 operates batted in for Cleveland in September. The 3rd baseman inked a one particular-12 months, $23 million pact with the Atlanta Braves earlier this winter season.

Merryweather, 27, was drafted by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. Around sections of 5 seasons in the minors, he accumulated a 23-20 record with a 3.92 Era in 83 games (65 starts). The 6-foot-4, 200-pound hurler went 7-9 with a 5.32 Era in 25 starts between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017. He missed all of 2018 right after he was in the beginning identified with a UCL sprain that required medical procedures, and proceeds to rehab.

Blue Jays basic supervisor Ross Atkins — unable to explicitly validate Merryweather at the PTBNL owing him staying on the disabled record — informed reporters on a September conference contact that the corporation was happy with who they obtained.

“What I can convey to you is we are excited about the return,” Atkins said. ‘It’s a in the vicinity of-term prospect that we really feel will impact our big league workforce in a substantial way.”

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At the time of the trade, Merryweather was ranked by MLB.com as Cleveland’s 17th very best prospect. Provided the Berkeley, Calif., native’s age and absence of any MLB working experience, the Blue Jays obtained him with the hope he will have a larger impact than the compensatory draft select the workforce would have recouped if Donaldson had left as a free of charge agent.

“I am just excited to be component of the long run of the Blue Jays,” Merryweather said. “They have a seriously vivid long run as you could see with all the fellas in this area. I am just excited to be component of it.”

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The projected swingman underwent medical procedures final March, so the conventional 12-month recovery window places him on keep track of to pitch in games late in Spring Schooling. On the other hand, Merryweather said he are not able to set a organization date or timeline on his return, adding that he will stick to the schooling staff’s protocol.

“I gotta generate that, suitable? They are not just gonna toss me out there,” he said of generating his MLB debut. “I to start with off gotta get wholesome, go by means of all the rehab starts and almost everything they want to do to create up. When I am all set and I generate the option, I’ll ideally be out there, all set to go.”



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