With the trade deadline a little more than six days away, Scott Downs is currently the most sought-after reliever on the market. Downs is a 34 year-old lefty who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round of the 1994 draft, but opted to go to the University of Kentucky. After his junior year, the Cubs drafted him in the 3rd round of the 1997 draft, and for eight years after that he bounced around the minor leagues, pitching as a starter. He debuted for the Cubs in 2000, but was dealt at the trade deadline to the Montreal Expos for Rondell White. He was a mediocre major league starter, and was eventually released by the Expos after the 2004 season. He signed with the Blue Jays, where he relieved and made spot starts.
As with most pitchers, Downs made a better reliever than a starter. Over the course of his career as a reliever, he has posted a 2.56 ERA over 302 innings with a strikeout rate of 7.6 per 9 and a K/BB ratio of 2.40. … Click here to read the rest