When signing major league veterans to minor league contracts, the hope is that they can perform well enough to be of use somewhere down the line. Either these players perform well enough to be a part of the major league roster, or, if they are sent down to AAA, they can perform at a sufficient level to garner interest from other teams. That latter scenario happened today, as the Kansas City Royals traded P.J. Walters and Melky Mesa to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash.
For the Blue Jays, this move appears to be a matter of building some depth in the minor leagues. Walters has been generally abysmal for Omaha this season, posting a 1-4 record with a 7.97 ERA and a 1.746 WHiP. Yet, despite the pedestrian numbers, Walters may have been an attractive player to the Blue Jays just because he has major league experiences. As Walters has a 6-10 record with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.579 WHiP in 152 career innings between the rotation and the bullpen.
Likewise, Mesa has major league experience, albeit in far more limited action than Walters. In his 16 plate appearances for the New York Yankees in 2102 and 2103, Mesa has produced a .400/.438/.533 batting line, hitting two doubles. This season for Omaha, Mesa has performed reasonably well when given the chance to play, hitting at a .284/.346/.527 batting line with five home runs in 74 at bats. As Mesa has also struck out 26 times, he may just be in the midst of a solid couple of months before dropping back to his career norms.
This trade is not likely to move the radar in any real manner for either the Blue Jays or the Royals. What is does for Kansas City, however, is free up a couple of roster spots at Omaha. Theoretically, those spots could be taken by players ready to be called up due to their performance, be it at Northwest Arkansas or at a lower level.
P.J. Walters and Melky Mesa have seen their times as parts of the Royals system come to an end. Now, they can serve as AAA depth for the Blue Jays.