Blue Jays non-tender Travis Shaw and A.J. Cole before deadline
The Toronto Blue Jays non-tendered both third baseman Travis Shaw and reliever A.J. Cole ahead of the MLB deadline.
According to the Blue Jays official website, the team opted not to tender contracts to Travis Shaw and A.J. Cole. All 38 remaining players on the active roster are under contract including outfielder Teoscar Hernandez and Ross Stripling who were both tendered contracts before last night’s deadline.
Travis Shaw earned $4 million last season but it was tough to envision him as an everyday player looking ahead to 2021. With the Blue Jays aggressively pursuing the free-agent market and the likes of Rowdy Tellez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on the current roster, playing time for Shaw was going to be scarce next season.
In 2020, the 30-year old hit .239/.306/.411 with six home runs and 50 strikeouts in 50 games for Toronto. Shaw split time between both first and third base in his first season with the Jays, however, Guerrero Jr. has publicly gone on record saying he wants third base back next season.
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The fate of A.J. Cole is a little bit surprising seeing the reliever was tabbed to earn in the neighborhood of $1 million dollars next season. The 28-year old had a respectable campaign last season earning a 3.09 earned run average with 20 strikeouts and a save in 23.1 innings of work.
The Jays undoubtedly required much valuable roster space in the event of an upcoming signing or a trade so that may have factored in the Cole decision. The non-tender moves now afford the brain trust with two open roster spots.
The Jays have been linked to a small village of potential players this offseason including Jean Segura, Marcell Ozuna, George Springer, DJ LeMahieu, Kolten Wong, and Jake Odorizzi to name a few.
It is anyone’s guess what the Blue Jays Opening Day lineup will look like when all the offseason wheeling and dealing is said and done. We do know, it doesn’t appear that Shaw nor Cole will be a part of the 2021 plan moving forward.