When the Blue Jays traded Russell Martin to the Los Angeles Dodgers there were many folks that assumed it was because they wanted to keep both Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire in the big leagues to start next year. The young duo could probably handle the job as a tandem, but we can’t forget about Luke Maile though, who remains under contract with the Blue Jays.
Maile had a really solid season last year as the back-up to Martin, and I would be surprised if the Blue Jays didn’t keep him around. Jansen seems all but guaranteed to receive the starting gig in 2019, which likely means that McGuire is headed for Buffalo where he could get something close to full-time duties. That said, nothing is set in stone, especially with the way Ross Atkins and company have handled the rebuild so far.
For what it’s worth, McGuire was impressive in his small sample size last year, slashing .290/.333/.581 in just 33 at bats, and flashing the defensive potential that will likely get him a MLB job someday sooner than later. He’s not expected to hit anywhere near as good as those 2018 numbers would suggest, but it was certainly encouraging to see him attacking big league pitchers at the plate, and he looks like he could handle the second string job right now if the opportunity presented itself.
There’s a small chance the Blue Jays could elect to go with three catchers, but more likely I’m guessing that McGuire will head to Buffalo and wait for an injury to open an opportunity for himnthis year. Don’t rule out the possibility of Maile getting traded later in the season either, especially if he hits as well as he did last year, which could also open up a spot for the McGuire.
If he isn’t in the big leagues to start the year, we’ll see McGuire sooner than later.