Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: The downside of being added to the 40-man roster this offseason

LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 09: Zach Logue of the Kentucky Wildcats delivers a pitch against the Louisville Cardinals during the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Baseball Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium on June 9, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 09: Zach Logue of the Kentucky Wildcats delivers a pitch against the Louisville Cardinals during the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Baseball Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium on June 9, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Heading into the lockout last December, all teams across Major League Baseball had to shore up their 40-man rosters by November 19th in order to protect eligible prospects from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. The Blue Jays decided to add Hagen Danner, Zach Logue, Bowden Francis, and Leo Jimenez, officially leaving the Jays with two open spots on the 40-man after the additions of Yimi Garcia and Kevin Gausman prior to the expiry deadline.

Being added to the 40-man roster is a huge accomplishment and is one step closer to making an MLB debut and should be a congratulatory measure. In a normal offseason, this would not really come with any consequences or negative fallbacks. However, with the CBA expired and the owners decisively locking out the players shortly after, players featured on the 40-man are now subjected to a considerable amount of rules that prohibits them from interacting with the club.

For example, 40-man roster players are not allowed to work out at team facilities nor are they allowed to consult team coaches and officials once the lockout was in place, meaning pitcher Danner, Logue, and Francis are technically forbidden to consult with pitching coach Pete Walker for pretty much the entire Winter. Players also cannot also rehab at the facility if they are coming back from injury.

The Blue Jays added four players to the 40-man roster back in November to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft and it all may have been in vain.

While many players already have offseason workout regimes in place, the Blue Jays recently overhauled their entire Spring Training facility, which includes multiple practice fields, a 22,000 square foot weight room, and multiple amenities such as hydrotherapy and training rooms. To not be allowed to access these facilities over a large chunk of the offseason would definitely be a bummer, and players did get some work in before they were locked out.

There are also now talks that MLB executives are looking to cancel the Rule 5 Draft this season, with clubs worrying that rival teams will have more information available to make more refined choices with Spring Training now underway. The Blue Jays have a few players that could be selected if there is a draft in Joey Murray, Graham Spraker, and Samad Taylor amongst others, so it makes sense why clubs are hesitant on the issue. I couldn’t find a response from the MLBPA regarding their stance on the matter (at this time) but it could be another hurdle to overcome depending on where they stand on the issue.

If the Rule 5 Draft does get cancelled, not only have Logue, Danner, Jimenez, and Francis not been able to train at the facility and have a delayed start to the year (as Minor League players are already training for the beginning of their season) but they may have essentially missed all this time for nothing. If the draft had been cancelled earlier in the year, the Jays did not have to protect these players and they could have started Spring Training with the rest of their teammates and be added at a later time.

Former position players who are currently MLB free agents. dark. Next

Another caveat of the lockout and how it is impacting Blue Jays players and its fanbase. A real shame.

facebooktwitterreddit