In a little bit less than 24 hours from now, MLB 40 man rosters must be finalized and frozen in advance of the Rule 5 draft next month.
The Blue Jays currently sit at 36 players on their 40, with the possibility of a couple of spots being opened tomorrow.
Among the players the team is likely considering promoting to the 40 are Pitchers Hector Perez, Patrick Murphy, Yennsy Diaz, and Travis Bergen. Jordan Romano, Max Pentecost, and Jackson McClelland are players on the bubble. The decisions the Blue Jays have to make are not easy. McClelland smashed the 100 mph barrier regularly this year, and averaged 97 with his fastball. With a similar build, it’s easy to see Romano experience a big uptick in velo in a relief role. Maybe they’re marginal MLBers, or maybe one or both could be one who got away.
For the players, promotion to the 40 isn’t just a step closer to the big time. For the guys who did not break the slot bank, the pay raise is a huge bonus – AAA players start at $2150/month (for a six month season), while AA players start at $1700. Once promoted to the 40, players receive a $41400 salary (plus membership in the MLB Health and Welfare and MLB Insurance plans), which doubles in their second year on the 40. Those numbers may not seem like a lot in the face of MLB salaries (the minimum is $545K) and high bonuses paid to top draftees and international players, but the Blue Jays spent almost 75% of their close to $10 million draft bonus pool this year on three players. In addition, players on the 40 get an invite to spring training (which can trigger a bonus).
This will be one of the most interesting final pre-roster freeze 24 hours for the Blue Jays in recent memory.