Toronto Blue Jays Rumors

Blue Jays rumours: Friday’s A.J. Jimenez “showcase”

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Feb 22, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) and catcher A.J. Jimenez (8) talk after a bullpen session at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 22, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) and catcher A.J. Jimenez (8) talk after a bullpen session at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Blue Jays 25-year-old catcher is out of options, and a career marred by injuries has lowered the trade value of the former highly-regarded prospect

Catcher A.J. Jimenez is one of several out-of-options Blue Jays that could draw interest on the waiver wire during final roster cuts.

He’s joined by Steve Delabar, Arnold Leon, Ezequiel Carrera, and Junior Lake, though the two outfielders may both survive if Edwin Encarnacion opens the season on the disabled list.

According to the Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz, though, the Blue Jays are at least making an effort to shop Jimenez on the trade market first. This could be true with any of the names mentioned here, but the combination of youth and still-existent potential could tempt one team into a minor deal for Jimenez.

Ortiz reports that Jimenez received the start on Friday in Dunedin against the Astros for a reason, and that scouts from other organizations were in attendance (which, in spring, is very common).

Jimenez went 1-for-2 on the day with a run scored before being lifted for backup Tony Sanchez, and holds a spring average of .429 (6-for-14) with a home run and six RBI. Again, these are spring statistics, but they are still preferable to a .000 average.

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His 2015 season was limited to an unproductive 28 games between double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo. Jimenez’s 2014 season saw him appear in 83 games across the same two levels, his highest total since 2011, and he recorded a triple-slash of .249 / .289 / .351.

Behind Jason Castro, the Astros have Alfredo Gonzalez and Max Stassi on their 40-man roster.

Any potential deal here would rest on Toronto’s opinion of how likely it is that Jimenez is claimed on waivers. Besides, it’s entirely possible that he passes through (a la Chad Jenkins recently) and lands back at the triple-A level, where he could finally put together a healthy and productive season.

Unless he is packaged as part of something larger, a Jimenez-level deal would involve only a player to be named later or a deeper-depth return that would provide fringe-level MLB insurance.

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