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Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos: 'No downside' to Jeremy Jeffress acquisition

The Toronto Blue Jays traded for the strong-armed Jeremy Jeffress, who comes with a considerable amount of baggage after being suspended three times for substance-abuse violations.

Ronald Martinez

The Toronto Blue Jays added further depth to their bullpen by trading for Kansas City reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who has been suspended several times in his young career by the MLB for substance abuse violations.

Jeffress was drafted in 2006 by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round, due in most part to a thunderous arm that puts the ball over the plate near 100 mph on a regular basis. The 25-year-old reliever, however, has had a notable issue with drug use and was most recently suspended 100 games in 2009 for his third violation after being popped for marijuana.

The reliever has also had issues on the mound, walking over five batters per nine innings in his minor league career. In 38.2 innings in the MLB, Jeffress has walked seven batters per nine innings with a WHIP of 1.784.

Nevertheless, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos says there's "no downside" to the signing of hot-armed reliever, with Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik agreeing with the decision by Toronto to make the trade.

"He's stubbed his toes a few times and he's paid the price for it," said Zduriencik, who drafted Jeffress while with the Brewers. "To take a chance on a kid that throws as hard as he throws and is still young is a nice move on Toronto's part."