A former first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2013, Reese McGuire has seen his fair share of appearances at the Major League level with the Blue Jays but has never fully cemented himself as a full-time player.
Over parts of four seasons, McGuire has amassed a .248/.297/.390 slash line with nine home runs, 26 RBI, and a .687 OPS through 367 at-bats in 141 games. Defensively, McGuire has been solid behind the plate, throwing out 30.1% of base stealers and sporting a .994 fielding percentage with only six errors and eight passed balls for his career.
This past season was one of McGuire’s best on record, which is somewhat amusing because he began the year the same way as Valera, designated for assignment and beginning the year in AAA after passing through waivers. His time in Buffalo would be short-lived as Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen both found themselves on the injured list, meaning McGuire was required in Toronto. Even when both catchers returned from the IL, the lefty batter stayed on the roster and the club finished the season with three catchers, with the Washington product slashing on the year .253/.310/.343 with a .654 OPS through 198 at-bats.
There are a few players on the Blue Jays 40-man roster whose days may be numbered as the club looks to make some moves this offseason and protect some prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.
Even after the season he had, there are a few things standing in McGuire’s way in staying on the 40-man roster. The Jays continue to give Jansen’s reps at the big league level and with Kirk and top prospect Gabriel Moreno both looking for playing time as well, McGuire might just be pushed out from the equation. He also does not have any remaining minor league options, which is why the club had to DFA him last season rather than just straight optioning him off the active roster.
Personally, I think if McGuire gets DFA’d this offseason, he will not make it through the waiver wire again. He could also be traded similar to what happened with Joel Payamps last year, with the return for the former top prospect not being too overwhelming in terms of value.