The Blue Jays made some roster moves ahead of next Saturday’s deadline to set 40-man rosters before December’s Rule 5 draft.
Pitchers Leonel Campos, Luis Santos, and Taylor Cole, along with C Raffy Lopez, were outrighted, taking the roster down to 35. RHP Taylor Guerrieri was claimed after being left off of Tampa’s roster, bringing the number up to 36 for the moment.
The acquisition of Guerreri was an interesting one. The former 1st round pick had been a perennial top prospect, but Tommy John surgery and a 50 game suspension for a drug of abuse derailed his career. His 2016 report from Baseball America:
Guerrieri was limited to only two AAA starts in April before being shut down with elbow soreness, but indications are that he’s healthy and will be ready for spring training. With his velo drop, he doesn’t seem to fit the profile for a conversion to the bullpen, so he likely will serve as AAA starting depth if he’s unable to crack the back of the Blue Jays rotation.
Cole has always been one of our favourite MiLBers. Cole led the minors in strikeouts while pitching for AA New Hampshire in 2014, and was labelled one of baseball’s top fringe prospects by Fangraphs. Injuries and inconsistency have slowed his progress since then, and the 28 year old BYU grad (who did his mission work in Toronto) became an odd man out after making his MLB debut in September.
A Blue Jays source today indicated that pending further roster moves, the team will be adding between 3 to 6 minor league players to the 40 in order to protect them from the rule 5 draft. The cutting of three pitchers would seem to bode well for Conner Greene, Thomas Pannone, Jordan Romano, Andrew Case, and Angel Perdomo. Likewise, outrighting Lopez would appear to be opening up a spot for one (or more) of Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, and Max Pentecost.
Expect more deals to be announced by the Blue Jays over the next week and a half before the roster is finalized.