RHP Eric Pardinho
The Blue Jays top international signee from the 2017 class, right-hander Eric Pardinho was starting to gain some steam in the lower minor league levels before undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. Delays in his rehab set back his debut in 2021 and the Lucelia, Brazil product only appeared in two games this season before returning to the injured list with elbow issues. Through three seasons in the minors, Pardinho has crafted a 2.48 ERA through 21 appearances and 90.2 innings with 103 strikeouts and a 1.103 WHIP.
While the recent injury troubles might scare off some teams, non-playoff contenders could see the potential Pardinho has and try to keep him on the Major League roster just long enough to acquire his rights (without having to return him back to the Jays) and then drop him back down to the minors for further development, similar to what the Blue Jays did with Elvis Luciano a few years back.
With the Friday deadline now come and gone for Rule 5 roster protection, the Blue Jays have a few players other teams may be interested in this winter.
RHP Kyle Johnston
Acquired in 2019 from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Daniel Hudson, right-handed starter/reliever Kyle Johnston is one player other clubs may be keeping tabs on after an outstanding 2021 campaign. Splitting his time between AA/AAA, Johnston made 35 appearances (nine starts) and finished with a 1.57 ERA and 55 strikeouts through 69.0 innings.
Teams looking for a solid right-hander as a bullpen arm with starting experience could take a flyer on Johnston, as the former Longhorns alum has put together solid numbers during his minor league career, a 3.80 ERA through 104 games. His route to the big leagues most likely runs through the bullpen compared to being a starter but his flexibility might be one reason a club selects him in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.