The Blue Jays have designated outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. for assignment to make room for the newly signed Clay Buchholz.
Additionally, the Blue Jays have designated outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Buchholz’s contract also comes with a host of incentives, which can max out at $2.75 million if he pitches a certain amount of innings and racks up a certain number of relief appearances.
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After working his way up the minor league ladder, the native of Peachtree City, Georgia made his major-league debut in 2017, appearing in 12 games that year and slashing .370/.414/.444.
In 2018, he spent the majority of the year at Triple-A Buffalo, but once again cracked the major league roster later on in the season. In 65 at-bats with the big club, he slashed .262/.347/.477. Even with those strong numbers in the big leagues. the 2nd generation big leaguer was facing an uphill battle for a roster spot this season, as the Blue Jays have a number of options that are battling for playing time in left field, and for a spot on the 25 man roster.
No longer considered a prospect, Smith Jr. will either be traded to another team or will pass through waivers and be sent outright to one of the team’s affiliates.
As Laura Armstrong of The Toronto Star points out, the decision to designate Smith Jr. for assignment instead of a pitcher could be a sign that veteran pitcher Clayton Richard will open season as a member of the starting rotation. Of course, Buchholz will undoubtedly factor into that decision.
For his career, Smith Jr. has appeared in over 700 MiLB games and has racked up 59 home runs, 341 RBI and 74 stolen bases in parts of seven seasons at various levels.