Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays: The 2019 Roster – Where are they now?

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 and Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays salute the crowd during the last game of the season, facing the Tampa Bay Rays during a break in the third inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 and Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays salute the crowd during the last game of the season, facing the Tampa Bay Rays during a break in the third inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 20: Freddy Galvis #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 20: Freddy Galvis #3 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a single in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Great American Ball Park on September 20, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Position Players

Kevin Pillar

One of the last remaining veterans on the roster, Kevin ‘Superman’ Pillar had been a member of the Toronto Blue Jays roster since 2013. In 695 games as a Blue Jay, Pillar not only made spectacular catches in the outfield, he also slashed .260/.297/.396 with 55 home runs and 231 RBI’s. With the organization gearing towards a rebuild, the Blue Jays shipped Pillar off to the San Francisco Giants where he would finish the 2019 season.

In the 2019/2020 off-season, Pillar would sign a one year contract with the Boston Red Sox. On August 31, the Red Sox traded Pillar to the Colorado Rockies, where he has been impressive at the plate with a .288/.336/.462 line with six home runs and 26 RBI’s on the year.

Freddy Galvis

Before the 2019 season, the Toronto Blue Jays would sign veteran infielder Freddy Galvis to a one-year, $4 million contract with a club option for the 2020 season. When Bo Bichette was called up to the big league roster, Galvis’ days were unfortunately numbered, and the Jays would designate him for assignment with the Cincinnati Reds picking him up from waivers on August 12.

This season, Galvis is still with the Reds and has split his time between shortstop and second base. In 45 games this season, the Venezualan native boasts a .221/.307/.412 slash line with seven home runs and 15 RBI’s. Not the greatest numbers, but he will be in the postseason this year with the Reds securing a spot to play in October.

Eric Sogard

Signed to a minor league contract during the 2019 off-season, Eric Sogard battled Richard Urena for the infielder bench role out of spring training, a battle he would end up losing. Fast forward to the middle of April, and Sogard was called to the active roster, where he would go on to slash .300/.363/.477 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 73 games with the Blue Jays. He would be traded to the Tampa Bay Rays just before the deadline for two players to be named later.

In the 2019/2020 off-season, Sogard would sign a one year, $4.5 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has unfortunately not found the same success he had last season, slashing just .218/.293/.291 in 41 games for the Brew Crew. Despite finishinig with a 29-31 record, the Brewers managed to secure the last Wild Card spot in the National League.

Justin Smoak 

Another one of the veterans on the roster, first baseman/designated hitter Justin Smoak found both success and struggle when donning the Blue Jays jersey. In 2019, Smoak would play in 121 games, slashing a modest .208/.342/.406 with 22 home runs and 61 RBI’s. Known for his power, Smoak would smash 117 home runs over five seasons as a member of the Blue Jays.

The Toronto Blue Jays would let the veteran walk after the 2019 season, with the switch-hitter inking a one year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. He would struggle as a Brewer, putting together a .186/.262/.381 slash line in 33 games. He was released by the Brewers at the start of September, eventually signing a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants and being added to the active roster. In six at-bats with the Giants, Smoak would not have a hit or walk and would be designated for assignment on September 21.

Luke Maile

The back-up catcher for the Blue Jays since 2017, Luke Maile struggled in 2019, gathering just 18 hits in 119 at-bats over 44 games last season.

He would become a free agent at the end of the season and sign a one year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Maile did play a game this season, as he underwent season-ending finger surgery on July 18 after being hit by a pitch during the Pirates Summer Camp.

Best of the Rest

Remember these names: Alen Hanson, Richard Urena, Socrates Brito, and Beau Taylor?

Urena would be DFA’d by the Blue Jays after the 2019 season and would sign a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles. He would be DFA’d by the Orioles on February 10th and is currently a free agent.

Hanson would sign a minor league deal with Seattle Mariners during the off-season but would be released by the Mariners on June 25th. Hanson is also currently a free agent.

Now a member of the Cleveland Indians, Taylor is the only member of the group to play pro ball this season. In just seven games, Taylor has accumulated a .048/.130./.048 slash line with nine strikeouts in 21 at-bats.

Socrates Brito would sign a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates after the 2019 season. While as a member of the Pirates, Brito would be diagnosed with COVID-19 and would eventually opt out of the 2020 season in early September after his brother passed away from the virus. Condolences to the Brito family.

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