With the Toronto Blue Jays off on Monday and hence not needing to announce any September call-ups until Tuesday, the team did a little bit of housecleaning instead, making a few minor league roster moves on Monday afternoon, both of which were more procedural than anything else.
First, as reported by Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays designated right-hander Neil Wagner for assignment.
#BlueJays designate right-handed reliever Neil Wagner for assignment per industry source.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) September 1, 2014
As discussed, the move is definitely procedural, as the team needed to remove Wagner off of the 40-man roster in order to help clear some space for some September call-ups. The move leaves the Blue Jays with 38 players on their 40-man roster, with likely call-ups John Mayberry Jr., Brandon Morrow (60-day DL), George Kotteras, and top prospect Daniel Norris all needing a slot in order to join the big league club. Don’t worry folks, my math isn’t wrong, the Jays will still need to make another couple of moves or decide not to bring one or two of them up.
As for Wagner, it is somewhat of a bittersweet ending to his season with the Blue Jays, a year that was essentially lost due to an elbow injury that would later require Tommy John surgery. Since he isn’t likely to pitch at all in 2015, removing him from the 40-man roster was absolutely necessary.
The 30-year-old was a gold find in 2013, when the Blue Jays plucked him as a minor league free agent and he proved to be a big arm in the bullpen, posting a 3.79 ERA and a 7.8 K/9 ratio in 38 innings of work last season. However, arm issues held him back in 2014, eventually shut him down completely in August when it became known that he needed Tommy John surgery. Also finding himself in the news again, but more as a formal goodbye than anything, was reliever Sergio Santos.
Designated for assignment five days ago, the reliever has appeared to clear waivers and the Blue Jays have outrighted him to Double-A New Hampshire. However, with the Fisher Cats having already finished their season and being eliminated from postseason contention, this was a nice way of giving Santos the rest of the fall off.