Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays might remember a certain relief pitcher named Jeremy Accardo who came their way in exchange for disgruntled outfielder Shea “This Ship is Sinking” Hillenbrand and fellow reliever Vinnie Chulk.
There was some promise for Accardo, who held the closer role in 2007 by chance, but it never really developed in Toronto.
Right now you may be saying to yourself, “Yeah, I remember him. Whatever happened to him anyway?”
I wish there were good things to report, but it hasn’t exactly gone smoothly for Accardo since he and the Blue Jays parted ways.
Accardo was acquired by the Blue Jays in 2006; he came from the San Francisco Giants. This trade was essentially forced upon the team by Hillenbrand, who ran afoul of management and teammates after criticizing the club.
(Hillenbrand is one of several players that manager John Gibbons has allegedly fought. I love it: no one puts Gibby in the corner!)
However, the trade didn’t really hurt Toronto – Hillenbrand’s career quickly dovetailed after the trade – as Accardo provided decent, if not inspirational, stuff out of the bullpen.
A member of the Jays from 2006-2010, Accardo’s “big” season came in 2007 when he recorded 30 saves and went scoreless in his first 21 innings of work. Unfortunately, he never really had the chance to expand upon these numbers: Accardo missed most of the 2008 season due to injury and he had to compete for a bullpen spot in 2009.
After another disappointing campaign in 2010, the Blue Jays declined to re-sign Accardo and he became a free agent.
Since that time, Accardo has bounced around the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals, but he hasn’t been able to land another regular spot as a reliever. In fact, he never even got the opportunity to pitch for the Nationals – they released him outright in 2013.
This is where his major league story ends, but it isn’t necessarily where his baseball career ends. Accardo was signed by the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League on Wednesday. The next chapter in his career will take place here.
I wish him all the best and I thank him for helping to get rid of Hillenbrand.
Photo credit: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/
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