Blue Jays 40-Man Roster Bumps- Who’s Next?
The Blue Jays have recently made some changes to the makeup of their 40-man roster. With the signing of Bud Norris soon to be made official, who’ll be the next one bumped off the roster?
Although the Blue Jays are unlikely to sign any big-name free agents before the 2019 season starts, it’s likely that the team will add an arm or two to compensate for an extreme lack of pitching depth in the upper minors.
With these minor signings come transactions, lots of them. Tuesday, the team designated outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. for assignment to make room for Clay Buchholz, while the team’s reported minor-league signing of Bud Norris has yet to be made official by the team.
When Norris’ deal becomes official, the team will need to decide who to bump off a now full 40-man roster. With Smith Jr. designated for assignment, here are three candidates to be DFA’d in the coming days:
A surprisingly solid performer in 2018, Sam Gaviglio is tough to justify in 2019. Though he started his Blue Jays career quite impressively (pitching to an ERA of 2.51 in his first 28 innings), he finished the year with an ERA of 5.31, eventually making simple spot starts in a lackluster starting rotation.
Though he comes cheap and could eat some innings, he’s likely not an arm that the team will want to keep around, especially as Sean Reid-Foley, Thomas Pannone and Ryan Borucki enter their first complete big league seasons.
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Much like Smith Jr., outfielder Jonathan Davis, who turns 27 in May, has lost his “prospect” status due to his age and influx of competent outfielders on the major league team. Though he did manage to put up a .698 OPS in Buffalo in 2018, the bulk of the at-bats this season will likely go to Billy McKinney, Kevin Pillar, Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk and even Anthony Alford.
He could be of some value in a trade, so the team might explore that route should they see him as the next one to go. Still, it’s hard to imagine he has much stability as he enters his seventh professional season.
Perhaps the most logical (and requested) player to be designated for assignment in the near future, Canadian outfielder Dalton Pompey, who, despite being one of the organization’s longest-tenured players, has only appeared in 64 major league games for his career, could be the organization’s easiest candidate to be DFA’d.
Though general manager Ross Atkins and manager Charlie Montoyo have praised him for his work ethic and effort this spring, he has been injured, struggling, or both, for the majority of the last four seasons. He could still get some at-bats at the major league level, but cutting ties with him now would not only satisfy the fanbase but also prevent them from carrying the burden of a failed prospect for any longer.