Blue Jays will need to non-tender some big leaguers

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 14: Aaron Loup
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 14: Aaron Loup /

With the Blue Jays expected to make some moves this offseason, they’ll need to do some juggling with the 40 man roster in order to protect their assets.

The Blue Jays are expected to be one of the busier clubs this offseason, but it remains to be seen what kind of approach they’ll take to tweaking their roster for the 2018 season. The bulk of the veteran roster is expected to be back, but there will be some notable absences, like 10 year veteran Jose Bautista, who is now officially a free agent.

There are others too of course, and the list could grow depending on how active the front office gets in free agency or trade, and also what they decide with the list of minor leaguers who will need protecting before the next Rule 5 draft. including Danny Jansen, Connor Greene, Thomas Pannone, Reese Mcguire and Rowdy Tellez. In order to make room, and add other players this offseason, there will be other veterans that have to go. All five of those names have varying degress of value, and all will be protected unless they end up in a trade.

And that’s before we’ve gotten into the discussion about payroll, and how the front office may choose to use their resources. For example, Tom Koehler looks like a useful piece as a potential bullpen option, or as starting depth, but he’s also due an estimated six million in arbitration. Is he worth more than five million more than keeping a guy like Carlos Ramirez around? I doubt it.

More from Jays Journal

Then we get to some other cases like  Aaron Loup, Ryan Goins, and Ezequiel Carrera. All three will enter arbitration, and has Loup and Goins earning raises to 1.8 million each, and Carrera earning slightly more at 1.9 million.

All three players could be on the outside looking in, especially if the Blue Jays make significant improvements through free agency or trade. They’re rumoured to be in the market for a) bullpen help, b) middle infield depth, c) an outfielder, among their many needs. I’ll let you put two and two together here.

There’s no guaranteeing that they’ll be successful in acquiring upgrades, but if they do, Loup/Goins/Carrera represent a potential 5.5 million in savings, and perhaps just as importantly, three more spots on the 40 man roster.

There are obviously a lot of variables and dominoes at play here, but there could be an awful lot of roster juggling in the coming months for Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro. They’ve had an early start on things, outrighting Luis Santos, Taylor Cole, Leonel Campos, and Raffy Lopez to Triple A, as well as claiming right-hander Taylor Guerrieri from the Rays earlier this week.

Next: How low will Jose have to go?

Expect the hot stove to heat up before November is over, and when it does don’t be surprised to see Shapiro and Atkins move quickly, as they did last offseason.