The Toronto Blue Jays announced today that right-handed reliever Sergio Santos has been removed off the 40-man and designated for assignment. Lefty Rob Rasmussen has been recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and will join the active roster.
— Blue Jays-Official (@BlueJays) July 21, 2014
Santos has been truly awful this season with a 7.78 ERA and 5.07 FIP. He’s striking out 11.9 batters per nine but also walking another 7.8, which makes him untrustable out of the bullpen. After finding success early in the season as the team’s closer, he had pitched the Blue Jays out of enough games by late April fans were praying for the return of Casey Janssen.
Santos is scheduled to make $3.25 million this season has a $6 million team option with a $750,000 buyout for 2015. At this point, there’s no way the Blue Jays even consider picking up Santos option and if he’s not claimed I assume they will gladly pay $750k to free up the roster spot for a less expensive (or ideally, more productive) player.
According to Minor Leaguer of Bluebird Banter, Santos will have options if he clears waivers but is unlikely to give up his contract.
Jamie Campbell of Sportsnet tweets that AA told the media he hopes Santos is able to straighten out his fastball command if he accepts the assignment to the minors.
The move opens up a spot on the Blue Jays 40-man roster, which the team needs if they are in fact planning on calling up top prospect Aaron Sanchez. It might be too early to start thinking about Sanchez but after a successful outing in the Buffalo bullpen yesterday I’m assuming he’ll be up sooner rather than later. There’s also the possibly GM Alex Anthopoulos has a trade lined up but I’m not holding my breath.
As much as people want to think this move has something to do with salary relief, I don’t think that’s the case. He’s been awful this year and with an ERA so high he’ll likely slip through waivers untouched, meaning the Blue Jays will be on the hook for the remaining $1 million or so he’s owed the remainder of this season regardless.
I actually think the front office would be more upset over losing, as I’m sure AA would like to see if Santos can resurrect himself for the stretch run rather quickly in Buffalo. But at the same time, this is also the club that allegedly asked players to defer money to make a run at Ervin Santana, so who really knows what the thinking is behind closed doors at 1 Blue Jays Way.