I’m sorry, that title should read, “Which Blue Jays Are Out of Option”. I’m sure that missing those two words in the title lead to some sort of misunderstanding and I apologize if that was misconstrued in any way. The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays, the team of massively increased depth, is in fact, full of options.
However, along the lines of the original title, there are a few Blue Jays in camp this spring that are in fact, out of options, i.e. minor league options. Our friends over at MLB Trade Rumors did us a service by outlining just which players those are, a list that includes Emilio Bonifacio, Brett Cecil, Jeremy Jeffress, Luis Perez, Esmil Rogers, and Sergio Santos.
Now, looking at this from a sensible view, the likelihood that Bonifacio, Cecil, and Santos do not make the team out of camp are slim and none. Cecil and Santos will fit nicely into this year’s bullpen, with Cecil likely getting the nod as long-man and Santos trying to reclaim his role as closer by wowing the team as the primary set-up option. Meanwhile, Bonifacio is the dream player for this team, a quality bat with speed, that can play all over the diamond. He’ll get plenty of at-bats as a super-utility man while also drawing a number of starts at second base.
Luis Perez, who underwent Tommy John surgery in July 17, 2012, likewise has nothing to worry about. With his recovery still months away, the lefty will be safely tucked on the 60-day disabled list before things shift North.
Esmil Rogers is going to be given the inside look at making the bullpen. The 27-year-old Dominican, who was acquired this winter in a trade with Cleveland that sent Mike Aviles to the Indians, could be the sneaky-good arm in the bullpen in 2013. As a sign of his dedication to the Blue Jays, Rogers bowed out of the World Baseball Classic so that he could focus on preparing with his new team.
The only true player on the bubble is Jeremy Jeffress. The 25-year-old, former prized prospect, has all the ability to miss bats, holding a 10.0 K/9 ratio in the minors, but he has always stood in his own way. He owns a 5.4 BB/9 ratio as well, a sticking point that has prevented him from truly achieving his potential. To add wood to the fire, Jeffress is a multiple offender under MLB’s policy against substances of abuse (marijuana in Jeffress’s case) and has served suspensions of 50 and 100 games respectively.
From the moment game action starts on February 23rd to the time when the Blue Jays wrap up the spring on March 30th in Philadelphia, Jeffress needs to show a marked improvement in both performance and maturity. Otherwise, he’ll be floating on the waiver wire at the end of camp.