Blue Jays: Time to make a switch with Bradley Zimmer’s roster spot

TORONTO, ON - MAY 4: Bradley Zimmer #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during a MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on May 4, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 4: Bradley Zimmer #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during a MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on May 4, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – MAY 1: Bradley Zimmer #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during a MLB game against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre on May 1, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Earlier this season, the Toronto Blue Jays made two different trades that impacted their outfield roster.

The first deal was sending Randal Grichuk to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Raimel Tapia and prospect Adrian Pinto. This was to get rid of some of the money owed to Grichuk over the next two seasons but also to give him an opportunity for more playing time, as he was not going to see much action in the outfield with the current core. Tapia brings a left-handed bat to the team as well as some plus speed in a bench role that saves the Jays some salary moving forward.

The second deal saw the Blue Jays send reliever Anthony Castro to the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for outfielder Bradley Zimmer. This trade added another left-handed hitting outfielder who had struggled to find consistency at the Major League level while also battling injuries over the past several seasons. The once highly touted top prospect was needing a change of scenery and would fit in on the bench with the Blue Jays as a defensive replacement and potential pinch-runner given his plus speed.

Fast forward to today and one of these two players is struggling to find any sort of rhythm in the season so far given the additional playing time with outfielder Teoscar Hernandez on the IL for a good chunk of April.

Through 19 games and 40 at-bats, Zimmer has only three hits and two of them have come in the form of bunts. He did smack a solo home run off Astros starter Justin Verlander back in mid-April but he also has 19 strikeouts to his name which accounts for roughly 48% of his at-bats this season. Zimmer does provide value from a defensive standpoint given his speed and his ability to play centre field but the .075/.119/.150 slash line and .269 OPS are just hard to look at and won’t carry on a club that hasn’t been scoring too many runs as of late (minus the eight spot put up yesterday).

Given that he has no MiLB options at his disposal, he would have to be designated for assignment and considering he has more than three years of service time (as per Baseball Reference), he can reject the assignment and become a free agent. Another team could also pick him up via waivers as well or he could be traded.

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