Out of Options Targets for the Blue Jays


Just like the oddball characters on American or Canadian Pickers, Alex Anthopoulos is always keen to poke through a scrap heap looking for a bargain. Throughout Anthopoulos’ tenure, he has been very aggressive on the waiver wire—Some would say too aggressive. AA has been criticized at times for his perceived “abuse” of the wire system. Often AA uses waivers not so much to fill empty 40-man rosters spaces but to stockpile assets in the minors by attempting to sneak players through the system.

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, this is a very clever and economically efficient practice—it costs the Blue Jays nothing to make an abundance of claims and then remove those players from the roster hoping they’ll pass through to the minors. For the players involved however, it can be incredibly frustrating. It affects guys like Russ Canzler, who was claimed 4 times in 2013. It was even worse for poor Casper Wells who changed teams 5 times during the 2013 season! That’s 5 moves for his family, 5 transitions to a new clubhouse, etc. Wells, though healthy, essentially couldn’t get into game action or practise for a month while he drifted through waiver limbo. Guess which MLB GM was in on both guys that year? Yup. In total AA made 22 claims from April 2012 to April 2013 which was 8 more than any other team. 

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Regardless of whether you see it as cruel or clever (or both), the practise is likely to continue. However, AA did tone down the claims quite dramatically from April 2013 to April 2014 (six claims) and 14 claims from April 2014 to the present. There are two waiver feeding frenzy times generally: early offseason and late spring training. We are nearing the latter. Here are some of the out-of-options players (who aren’t likely/or on the bubble to make the 25-man of their current team) that the Jays could be targeting for the ol’ “steal, sneak and stash”:

Juan Jaime, ATL – Huge strikeout numbers throughout his pro career (12.9 K/9 in the minors). Major control problems.

Zoilo Almonte ATL – Reserve outfielder

Brad Hand MIA – Swingman, 0.4 and 0.5 WAR last two seasons

Cesar Puello NYM – Outfielder, yet to play an MLB game, one time Biogenesis suspendee

Phillippe Aumont PHI – Now a reliever, once a piece in the Cliff Lee to Seattle trade. Same issues and strengths as Juan Jaime

Xavier Cedeno WSH – LH Reliever

Sandy Leon WSH – Catcher

Tyler Moore WSH  – Outfielder/First Baseman

Johnny Giavotella LAA – Second Baseman

Evan Scribner OAK – Solid RH reliever being pushed out by an excellent A’s pen.

Erasmo Ramirez  SEA  – Still young RH starter with potential. No room for him in SEA rotation

Maikel Cleto CWS – RH reliever with lots of strikeouts and walks. Also fairly hittable

Javy Guerra CWS – RH reliever competing with Cleto. 3.2 WAR in 4 seasons

Hernan Perez DET – Second baseman

Andy Romine DET – Utility infielder likely competing with Perez for a spot

Louis Coleman KCR – RH Reliever.  Strong candidate for the excellent KC bullpen but he’s facing stiff competition for the job.

Eduardo Nunez MIN – All around utility guy

Drake Britton CHC – LH reliever. 0.5 WAR in parts of two seasons

Felix Doubront CHC – LH swingman vying for the same spot as Britton

Luis Jimenez MIL – Backup corner infielder

Hector Gomez MIL – Shortstop

Stolmy Pimentel PIT – RH reliever

Arquimedes Caminero PIT – RH reliever. Like his Greek namesake, he’s reinvented himself early this spring. Flamethrower

Pedro Florimon PIT – Excellent defensive shortstop with a very weak bat

Vance Worley PIT – RH Starter. In a battle with Jeff Locke for PIT’s fifth starter slot 

Jeff Locke PIT – LH Starter. If he or Worley loses out on the 5th slot, they could end up in the bullpen or be one of the more coveted waiver pickups. A trade is possible as well.

Sam Freeman STL – LH Reliever. Capable but prone to walks

Pete Kozma STL – Good defensive SS but a weak bat

Christian Friedrich COL – LH Starter/Now reliever? A once highly touted prospect who hasn’t come close to expectations. Perhaps he just needs a change of scenery. He’s been excellent in his limited time as a reliever.

Travis Ishikawa SFG – Good defender at first with a sub-par bat

Ehire Adrianza SFG – Backup middle infielder

Jean Machi SFG – RH reliever. It’s hard to believe but the effective Machi may not have a place in the Giants’ pen. If he doesn’t make the team, he’ll more likely be traded.

George Kontos SFG – RH Reliever. Similar story as above

Erik Cordier SGF – RH Reliever. Another candidate for the Giants’ 7th ‘pen spot. Throws very hard. San Fran is the place to call for bullpen help…

Jimmy Paredes BAL – Utilityman. If Everth Cabrera sticks with the O’s, Paredes will be the odd man out

Brad Brach BAL – RH Reliever

David Lough BAL – Outfielder. Would not make it through waivers. He’s more likely to traded than exposed if there’s no room for him on Baltimore’s 25 man

Alex Colome TBR – RH Starter. Competing for the 5th starter role

Daniel Nava BOS – Outfielder/First Base. With Boston’s glut of outfielders, there may be no room for the skilled Nava. He probably won’t hit waivers but could likely be had in trade for much less than he’s worth.

Austin Romine NYY – Backup catcher. Appears to be the odd man out at this point.

Most of the players on this list would only be worth a claim if they get the “steal, sneak and stash” treatment. However, a few here could represent immediate upgrades to what the Blue Jays currently have. Javy Guerra, Evan Scribner, Louis Coleman, Vance Worley, Jeff Locke, Jean Machi, George Kontos, Erik Cordier, Brad Brach, David Lough and Daniel Nava would all fit that bill. If we know anything about AA, we know he’s got his eyes on these situations.

(Shout out to MLBTR and this article for the inspiration and sources)

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