You can tell that Ross Atkins has had some late nights recently because the Toronto Blue Jays have been makin’ some MOVES. A week removed from trading Joe Panik to the Miami Marlins for relief pitcher Adam Cimber and veteran bat Corey Dickerson, the Jays packed another one of their infielder’s bags in exchange for more bullpen help as they flipped Rowdy Tellez to the Milwaukee Brewers this Tuesday for a pair of relievers.
OFFICIAL: We've acquired RHP Trevor Richards and RHP Bowden Francis from the Brewers in exchange for 1B Rowdy Tellez.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 6, 2021
When I saw the news that the Jays dealt Rowdy to the Brewers, I didn’t expect myself to be as butthurt about it as I was. It wasn’t so much that I was gonna miss him for his on-field contributions, those of which were rather few and far between. But more so because the image of Rowdy Tellez, fringe Major League ballplayer, that I had conjured up in my own brain was one that well outshone the player that his numbers indicated.
I remember getting to Rogers Centre practically before the players did in the summers of ’15/’16 for batting practice, and during those afternoon hours where most of the city was still at their desks I’d get schooled on the Blue Jays’ farm system thanks to the “From The Farm Report” jumbotron segment that was sponsored by some potato farm. The farm report went on for nearly an hour before every game and showed the leaders of every pitching and hitting stat for all of the affiliates. And since Rowdy Tellez was tearing it up in the minors at the time, his name was always on there.
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) July 7, 2021
Rowdy was a prospect you absolutely had to have on your radar as a fan during his rise through the minors. He was one of the Jays’ most promising hitters in the entire system, having hit 23 bombs to go along with a .297 batting average and .917 OPS as a New Hampshire Fishercat in ’16. Those were numbers that you woulda loved to see in the big leagues, especially when I wasn’t sold on Chris Colabello nor Justin Smoak at the time. Plus just knowing we had a big ass dude named Rowdy Tellez who was built like a fridge and raked in AA made me want him to pan out even more.
As we know, Rowdy didn’t translate at the big league level whatsoever. He hit some bombs, but not much else. We were quick to realize that he in fact wasn’t the first baseman of the future, especially when we heard of some kid named Vladimir Guerroer Jr. While his Jays career isn’t one worth marveling over, I felt the need to pay tribute and pour one out that night for Rowdy Tellez. He wasn’t great, but it didn’t matter. I just loved having a guy who looked like he could hit the ball 450 feet and come close to it from time to time. Plus being able to throw out a “Let’s Get Rowdy” whenever he did something made it even better.
Fred McGriff – 47
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 42
J.P. Arencibia – 40
Rowdy Tellez – 37
Carlos Delgado – 37 pic.twitter.com/Rqg2zJYH5o
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) July 7, 2021
I quickly got over the loss of one of the franchise’s all-time great baseball names when I found out what we got for him. Bullpen arms, and some pretty decent ones at that. Trevor Richards made 48 starts for the Marlins from 2018-19 before being jettisoned to the Tampa Bay Rays, where he started out this season exclusively as a late-inning guy. He’s a right-hander who had a 3.20 ERA across 15 outings with the Brewers, and generates whiffs at a PHENOMENAL rate with an 11.6 K/9 this season. He retired the side in order in his first outing as a Jay on Thursday night in Baltimore which was just as impressive as his hair color for a 28-year old.
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) July 6, 2021
Richards has already been dealt twice this season, but it’s because he has real potential to be successful in a set-up role. That sentence should be music to the ears of every Jays fan who’s paid a lick of attention to their team this summer. Getting another relief arm in the return package for Tellez in Bowden Francis who will report to Triple-A and give us more depth is icing on the cake. Between the Cimber trade and this one the front office is making it clear that they want to make the postseason and fixing the team’s biggest flaw is crucial in that quest. The Blue Jays’ achilles this season has been in worse shape than Kevin Durant’s after Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
While we all might miss the luxury of having a guy like Rowdy Tellez on our team (or just me, at least), hopefully you can find some peace in knowing that he’s back on the same roster as Dan Vogelbach. If my Green Bay Packers are ever short on O-lineman, it’s comforting to know that there are a couple of them disguised as baseball players less than a two-hour drive down I-43.
Rowdy Tellez and Dan Vogelbach entering the Brewers’ clubhouse every day pic.twitter.com/vbvHWR0frs
— Jon Tayler, Top 0.1% On OnlyJons (@JATayler) July 6, 2021