Blue Jays claim Jesus Montero, DFA A.J. Jimenez
The Blue Jays have claimed Jesus Montero from the Seattle Mariners, who is a former top prospect league-wide
The Toronto Blue Jays have claimed slugging first baseman and designated hitter Jesus Montero off waiver from the Seattle Mariners.
Now 26-years-old, the Venezuelan-born Montero was the New York Yankees number one prospect from 2009 to 2011 and Baseball America’s fourth, third, and sixth-ranked prospect league-wide following those seasons.
Montero’s Major League career hasn’t gone as planned, though. In one season with the Yankees and four with Seattle, Montero has made 865 plate appearances with a cumulative slash line of just .253 / .295 / .398.
He’s coming off a very strong season with triple-A Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League, however, where he appeared in 98 games. Montero hit for a whopping .355 average with 18 home runs and 85 RBI, so the raw talent is clearly still present.
With no options remaining, it appears that the Blue Jays will try to sneak him through waivers to triple-A Buffalo. Given how many teams passed on Montero this first trip through waivers, that may well be possible. There is the small possibility that the Blue Jays try to get him back behind the plate, too, but that hasn’t happened since the 2013 season.
To make room on the roster, catcher A.J. Jimenez has been designated for assignment. There were rumblings earlier in spring that he was generating some trade interest which could still come to fruition. This move was necessitated because Jimenez, like Montero, is out of Minor League options.