The list of Toronto Blue Jays players who won’t be back in 2018 continues to grow with each passing day with the non-tendering of Ryan Goins and Tom Koehler.
The Blue Jays have five players who were on their 25-man roster at season’s end who in all likelihood will be not be playing north of the border come opening day.
The most glaring departure is Jose Bautista as the Jays declined their end of a mutual option which will once again send Bautista to test the free agent waters. Bautista and his 331 career home runs will canvass for a new employer after spending the past 10-seasons in Toronto. The Blue Jays have not addressed the right-field vacancy as of yet but the two most obvious in-house options are Teoscar Hernandez or Anthony Alford.
Bautista has spoken publicly about his willingness to play wherever his services are required and thus far the Tampa Bay Rays seem like a sensible landing spot for “Joey Bats”.
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Veterans Darwin Barney and backup catcher Miguel Montero both are free agents and able to negotiate with clubs. In light of some of the recent roster moves involving the infield alignment, it would appear that Barney will not be in the fold for 2018. Barney has spent the past 3 seasons with the Jays and saw action in 129 contests last season.
It would also appear that the Jays are set to walk away from catcher Miguel Montero who was acquired after his falling out in Chicago. Montero was a non-factor during his tenure in Toronto hitting .138 in 32 games with the Jays. The Jays in all probability will sign a free agent catcher and utilize Luke Maile at Triple-A until an injury forces their hand.
Friday’s non-tendering of both Ryan Goins and Tom Koehler make that one-fifth of the lineup that will not be returning. The acquisitions of Aledmys Diaz and Gift Ngoepe have made Goins redundant and expendable with the price-tag of Koehler being unaffordable.
With the free agent frenzy just getting underway, there will undoubtedly be a few more players omitted from the Opening Day roster.