Blue Jays Release 26; Plans Afoot for Expanded Fall League

Screenshot 2020-06-02 at 9.22.15 AM
List from Baseball America

 

Yesterday, we learned the names of the 26 prospects who were released by the Blue Jays late last week.  Adding in the players let go in March, and the Blue Jays have released a total of 36 minor leaguers in the past three months.

Some of this is normal – teams do let players go in advance of the June draft in order to make room on lower level rosters after some shuffling at the higher levels, and most of these players were org guys – DJ Daniels, a 6th round pick in 2016, was the highest-drafted player on the list.

Kacy Clemens, son of the former multiple Cy Young winner, never really got on track as a pro.  He reached AA briefly last year, but his lack of production (.685 OPS over three seasons) and a crowded 1st Base situation ultimately led to his release.

The 26 players the Blue Jays have cut is only slightly higher than their totals for the past two seasons.  What is unusual is the number of players culled in one fell swoop, and suggests that when MiLB resumes play in 2021 (it’s not official, but it’s safe to say), the number of minor league players in an organization will be considerably lower than it has been for the past half century.

The Blue Jays have agreed to continue to pay their remaining minor leaguers a $400/week stipend by the end of June.  Several other organizations have committed to seeing things through until the end of August.  You can argue that this was a cost-saving move by the team, although carrying the released players for another month would have cost lest than $50 000.   With the draft limited to five rounds this year and signing bonuses for undrafted free agents limited to $20 000, players and agents may be taking note of which teams have committed to their players, and which ones haven’t.

 

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Talk has grown about an expanded Arizona Fall League to give teams’ top prospects some badly-needed reps, with a higher level loop in the desert and one for lower level players in Florida being discussed, according to sources.

Teams typically send 6 prospects to Arizona, but now there is talk of teams sending a whole team of top level players to the Southwest, as well as a team to the proposed Florida league; talk of a 2nd lower level team being added for each organization has been discussed as well.  The leagues are said to be able to start up play within weeks of whenever MLB’s delayed Opening Day takes place.

There has been no word yet on whether or not these games will be streamed over MiLB’s streaming service, but it would be a bonanza for prospect watchers if they were.

 

6 thoughts on “Blue Jays Release 26; Plans Afoot for Expanded Fall League

  1. Had expected most of these players to be released.

    The one that surprised me was Miguel Olivo. He finished with an ERA of 0.69 (led team) and had a 0.77 WHIP (led team) over 13 innings in relief last season. Albeit at the CGL, but still strong for a 19 year old. And at 6’4″, he had good size.

    Maybe character issues????

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    1. Maybe it was shades of Roberto Osuna? Wildly talented and wild off the field too… Maybe they didn’t want to go there again… Osuna embarrased the organization. He was promoted as a star and meanwhile drag the reputation of the orgnanization in the mud. Not to mention the investment in Osua was wasted as he had to be traded for below market value.

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      1. I will say that one of the players who was let go had quite a reputation for his off field activities.
        Having said that, his lack of production made letting him go fairly easy.
        Osuna’s reputation was known when he was a minor leaguer. But as we’ve seen far too often, if you can get guys out organizations tend to give you plenty of chances.

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  2. Who were the ten released in March? I looked back but don’t see a post that is obvious.

    I’m a bit surprised to see Brodt on the list. He moved up pretty quickly after being drafted in 2018.

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  3. More confusion after reading the list… Who is the front office planning to have play first base in this organization? Christian Williams, Jake Brodt and Kacy Clemens are gone. Jordan Patterson was in BUF last year but I see he was released by the Cubs. There is no one left and I’m not convinced that Rowdy is the first baseman of the present or future (though, I’ll hope that he proves me wrong).

    Some other old friends in the list: Edwin Jackson, Mark Leither Jr., Michael De La Cruz, Pompey & Snider released by ARI, Brock Stewart & Alberto Mineo by the Cubs, Mitch Nay by SEA, Deck McGuire by TBR, Austen Bibens-Dirkx by TEX.

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    1. Good question.
      I was surprised they let Brodt go. He’s maybe not an MLBer, but he played well for Lansing last year.
      Kivlehan will likely get most of the 1B reps at Buffalo, Noda at NH, Yorman at Dunedin. Maybe a position switch is in the offing for a guy like Conine.
      I’m sure there will be a free agent or two added.

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