The Blue Jays non-tendered three players before Monday’s 8pm deadline, and as a result they have some roster room to play with. Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.
Monday was a busy day in the MLB off-season calendar, as teams had until 8pm EST to decide whether or not to tender a contract to their arbitration eligible players. Looking around the league, there were certainly a handful of surprises.
For the Blue Jays, they ultimately decided to non-tender a trio of veterans including right-handed relievers Derek Law and Jason Adam, and Luke Maile, who has served as a back-up catcher in Toronto over the last couple of seasons. To the surprise of some folks, the Blue Jays ended up tendering the rest of their eligible players, including Brandon Drury.
The mini-flurry of activity now means that the Blue Jays have at least three open spots on their 40-man roster, and they could likely make more room in a hurry with a few other roster decisions if necessary. Yesterday I talked about what the non-tender deadline might tell us about the Blue Jays’ off-season plans, and I believe there are a couple things we can take away.
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First, the Blue Jays are almost certain to roll with the young catching tandem of Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire next season now that they’ve cut bait with Maile. And secondly, their opening up three roster spots means they have plans to fill them, especially when it came at the cost of a relatively inexpensive reliever like Adam.
Ross Atkins and the rest of the front office have plenty of options ahead of them with those three spots on the 40-man, and as I said above, there are others who could still easily be on the bubble. Breyvic Valera seems like a long shot to stick around until Opening Day, and the Blue Jays will have to deal with their glut of outfielders at some point.
Does that mean the Blue Jays are going to pull out their chequebook and start spending wads of cash on the free agent market? Of course not, but that the roster space gives Atkins and company some flexibility. They might see someone on the recent non-tendered list from another club that peaks their interest. They may also want to keep a spot or two open for a player on a MiLB invite who would need to be added to the 40-man roster if they make the team, such as recent signings like A.J. Cole or Phillippe Aumont.
Regardless of what road the front office takes to work on their roster build this off-season, Monday’s decisions created the space they need to add more talent. Here’s hoping they make the best of it.