Blue Jays release Randy Choate, Marco Estrada to D.L.
The organization remains hopeful that Choate will accept an assignment to triple-A Buffalo to serve as left-handed relief depth
Toronto’s roster trimming continues this morning as veteran left-hander Randy Choate has been released. The Blue Jays are reportedly hoping that Choate will accept an assignment to the Buffalo Bisons as Minor League depth.
Choate appeared to have an inside lane on a 25-man job with the Blue Jays after joining the club midway through spring training, but some recent struggles and the fact that he remains a one-out option left the door open for other arms.
With the young Chad Girodo already reassigned to the Minor Leagues, this move could signal that switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has earned an opening day job.
The injury to Aaron Loup originally necessitated the addition of Choate, and his health throughout 2016 will remain critical to the makeup of Toronto’s bullpen. Especially with Brett Cecil being needed in high-leverage situations later in games, the second lefty becomes even more important.
In other pitching news it appears that Marco Estrada will begin the season on the disabled list (back). It will be back-dated to allow Estrada to pitch April 10th against the Boston Red Sox.
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Doing so would briefly open up an 8th spot in the Toronto bullpen that could be welcome news to Joe Biagini, Ryan Tepera, and Arnold Leon. Especially Leon, as he’s out of options and the Blue Jays could prefer to test him on waivers a week into the season instead of the coming days.
If not kept on the 25-man roster for the entirety of 2016, Rule 5 pick Biagini must be offered back to the San Francisco Giants or retained in a small trade.