Blue Jays: How does the 25 man roster look if the season started today?
Last but not least, the bullpen might be the area with the least amount of certainty at this late stage of the offseason. The Blue Jays did David Phelps to an incentive laden contract, but otherwise they’ve been pretty quiet on the bullpen front.
If there’s an area I expect the Blue Jays to still add, it would be in the ‘pen, and I’m even going to use one name that’s not yet in the organization for my prediction here.
1- Ken Giles
2- Ryan Tepera
3- Tim Mayza
4- Joe Biagini
5- Sam Gaviglio
6- John Axford*
As I said, there’s a whole lot of uncertainty in the bullpen right now, even if they do have several options on their 40 man roster. The top two arms are locks to make the bullpen, and Mayza likely will be too unless the Blue Jays decide to sign one of the plethora of available southpaws still available on the free agent market.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
I excluded David Phelps from the list because I don’t anticipate he’ll be ready for Opening Day, especially because he had Tommy John surgery in March of last year. He will eventually join the bullpen though, and should prove to be a useful arm as the season carries on. I also included both Biagini and Gaviglio for now even though they’re a little redundant. That said, if Montoyo decides to use the “Opener” concept at all, having both men who can throw multiple innings would be useful.
I also added John Axford to the list here even though he’s not currently under contract. I feel like the Blue Jays need at least one more veteran reliever, and Axford has come out and directly said he’d like to return. Makes sense, right?
Lastly, against my better judgement I’ve put Elvis Luciano as the last bullpen arm. At just 18 years old, I don’t think he’s going to last very long at the highest level, but it would appear that Atkins and company are pretty high on the former Kansas City Royal. If that’s the case, they’ll likely give him a chance to start the season at least, and hope that he can pitch well enough to keep him on the active roster.
I considered including an 8th bullpen arm and dropping a bench spot, mostly in the interest of keeping Luciano on the roster and not having to give him back to the Royals because of the Rule 5 draft rules. In that case, the last roster spot would come down to whether the Blue Jays ultimately protected Luciano, or someone like Pompey, who is out of minor league options.
Of course, everything could change with an injury, or if Atkins signs another free agent or two. However, as things stand today, this is how I see the roster rolling out on day one.