Blue Jays: Who is competing to make the team this spring?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 23: Teoscar Hernandez
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 23: Teoscar Hernandez /
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Back-up Catcher

This is one area of the roster that I’m surprised that Ross Atkins and company didn’t address this offseason, but it could also be an area they’re still keeping a close eye on. As things stand right now, Luke Maile would be the favourite for the job after playing in 46 games for the Blue Jays last year.

He missed a good chunk of time recovering from knee surgery, but even while playing through pain he was the Blue Jays’ best option last season, despite hitting just .146/.176/.243. Among the group that included Miguel Montero, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Raffy Lopez, and Mike Ohlman, the Blue Jays weren’t able to find a solution behind the plate when Russell Martin needed a day off, or when he had to spend time on the disabled list. Maile at least provided above average defence when he was in the lineup, something that he others had a hard time bringing to the table in addition to their struggles in the batter’s box.

The hope is that Maile can hit a little better now that his knee is fully healthy, and also that Martin will have a healthier year than 2017, when he was only able to play 91 games. I wouldn’t be surprised if Atkins and Mark Shapiro were watching rival clubs to see if other options become available, and also if they’re keeping a close eye on their own prospects like Reese McGuire and Danny Jansen. It’s likely that those two start the year in the minor leagues where they’ll receive more regular playing time, but the Blue Jays are better equipped in the upper levels, at least compared to the position they found themselves in last year.