Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays designate Dwight Smith Jr. for assignment

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TORONTO, ON - JUNE 16: Dwight Smith Jr. #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a single in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Chicago White Sox at Rogers Centre on June 16, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 16: Dwight Smith Jr. #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a single in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Chicago White Sox at Rogers Centre on June 16, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays have designated outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. for assignment to make room for the newly signed Clay Buchholz.

The Blue Jays have made the Clay Buchholz signing official, according to multiple reports. Buchholz will earn $3 million on a one-year, major-league deal.

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.

Smith Jr., 26, was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2011 draft, the same round that saw the selection of Jackie Bradley Jr., Trevor Story, and Blake Snell.

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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.

Next. Blue Jays Tuesday: The Latest Spring Training Notes. dark

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.

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