There are currently 39 players on the Toronto Blue Jays’ 40-man roster
Plenty of Major League 40-man rosters have been re-stocked by this point in the off-season, making up for players lost to free agency or retirement. The Blue Jays, for example, currently have their own sitting at 39.
With this, there will be an uptick in accompanying moves over the next three months as teams are forced to remove players from their 40-man to make room for incoming signings or trades.
Here is a quick look at some players who might eventually be on that bubble for the Blue Jays:
Leonel Campos – The 29-year-old right-hander was claimed from San Diego a month ago and has briefly surfaced at the MLB level in each of the last three seasons. Campos racks up strikeouts with ease, but his control has been an issue. If he finally ‘clicks’ in Toronto, though, that’s found money.
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Dominic Leone – Claimed on the same day as Campos from Arizona, Leone is coming off a pair of difficult seasons in 2015 and 2016. Back in 2014, though, Leone posted a 2.17 ERA over 66.1 relief innings with the Seattle Mariners while striking out 9.5 batters per nine innings. His fastball has dipped 1.5 MPH on average since 2014 and his slider has become less effective, but he’s shown he’s capable in the past.
Glenn Sparkman – The Rule 5 pick will be given every possible opportunity to make the 25-man roster, but he’ll be forced to live up to the unrealistically-high bar of Joe Biagini. One thing that Sparkman has going for him is control — even when coming back from his 2015 Tommy John surgery — so if he can find his groove this spring, there could be an “extended audition” for him in a long-relief MLB role.
Mike Bolsinger – Bolsinger could find himself on the bubble at the end of spring training as he’s out of option years, which could limit his otherwise intriguing value. In a perfect world, the Blue Jays could stash Bolsinger in triple-A as a sixth or seventh starter, but a long-relief role may be his ticket to staying in Toronto. Right-handed reliever Bo Schultz is out of options, as well.
Ryan Goins – Darwin Barney has the inside track on Goins for the role of reserve infielder, and it’s unlikely the Blue Jays carry both. Goins is out of options, so the defensive wiz could soon feel the squeeze if his bat doesn’t turn the corner. Other positional players facing the out-of-options dilemma are outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and catcher A.J. Jimenez, who is the in-house favourite to back up Russell Martin on opening day.
Darrell Ceciliani – Ceciliani lit spring training ablaze last season and nearly won a job, but ended up battling injuries at triple-A for the majority of the year. He still posted a .764 OPS with the Bisons over 82 games and could conceivably fill in as a fourth outfielder for a needy team, but with several outfielders ahead of him in Toronto and at least one more likely to be added, his 40-man spot could come into question later in the off-season.
Not only will there be further additions to the Blue Jays’ roster at the Major League level, but also on minor-league deals like T.J. House and Jeff Beliveau this past week, both of whom would require a 40-man spot should they crack the opening day roster, which is not inconceivable.
This roster churn becomes a game of baseball musical chairs as some players jump teams multiple times through the cruel DFA process. Just because Toronto’s 40-man is nearly full does not mean it’s anywhere near complete.