Late Wednesday afternoon the Toronto Blue Jays pulled off a small trade with the Colorado Rockies, swapping left-handers Tyler Ibarra for Jayson Aquino. Unfortunately, that also meant that the Blue Jays had to make a subsequent move in order to clear space on the 40-man roster in order make room for Aquino. That means that Chris Colabello drew the short straw, as the team announced later in the day that they had designated the infielder/outfielder for assignment.
Claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins on December 8th, Colabello never truly had a spot with the Blue Jays and was a long-shot to make the team. Those odds got longer after the team re-signed outfielder Andy Dirks to a minor league deal, and also inked minor league pacts with Daric Barton, Jake Fox, and more. In the end, Colabello was just expendable.
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An interesting story in 2014, Colabello reportedly declined a trade to South Korea prior to the 2014 season instead feeling like he could make the most of an opportunity to play in the Major Leagues. Initially, it looks like he was going to live up to his credo, hitting .349/.462/.512 during spring training to win a job with the Twins. He then went out and opened eyes with a .295/.343/.484 April that saw the right-handed batter drive in 27 runs during the season’s opening month, setting a franchise record in the process.
Unfortunately, the league caught on to Colabello quickly. May proved to be a struggle with the 30-year-old hitting just .125/.169/.196 and striking out 24 times in just 59 plate appearances before being optioned to Triple-A. His struggles continued after a July call-up, as Colabello was a shadow of his April performance with a .173/.229/.291 slash-line, 3 home runs, and 12 RBI from May 1st on.
The Blue Jays will hope that they can sneak him through waivers and possibly assign him to Buffalo. However, given his performance in April of last season, and the later revelation that a jammed pitch and a resulting thumb injury may have had something to do with his rapid decline, another team may opt to snatch him up and try to resurrect Colabello on a low-cost deal.