To the surprise of us all, the Toronto Blue Jays' front office is alive and well! On Wednesday, the club reportedly came to an agreement with free agent hurler Yariel Rodriguez. According to multiple reports, including one from Carlos Baerga and Francys Romero on X.
Rodriguez, 26, did not make a single professional appearance last year but had a sparkling 1.15 ERA for the Chunichi Dragons the year before. He has experience as both a starter and reliever, but sources tell Jays Journal that he's being brought aboard the Jays as a starting pitcher.
After the club claimed catcher Brian Serven off of waivers from the Cubs, their 40-man roster became full. With Rodriguez being brought into the fold as well, there are now 41 players that need to fill 40 spots. Someone's going to have to lose their handle on a 40-man spot.
There are some rather obvious candidates at the proverbial "bottom of the totem pole" in the Blue Jays' system, so let's take a look at some of the options. We should be finding out in the very near future who is going to be removed from the 40-man in favor of Rodriguez. Either way, it feels like a pitcher is likely going to be removed, as the Jays currently have more arms than bats on the roster.
5 players whose 40-man roster spot is in jeopardy after Yariel Rodriguez signing
LHP Brendon Little
Little, 27, was claimed off of waivers from the - you guessed it - Cubs back in November. At the moment, he is one of just three left-handed relievers (Yusei Kikuchi and Adam Macko are starters) on the 40-man roster, but he's also one of the newest players in the organization.
Little has just one big league appearance under his belt, coming in the form of a two inning-cameo back in the 2022 season. He hit a batter, walked a batter and then allowed three runs to score.
Last year, Little made all 50 of his minor league appearances in Triple-A with the Cubs. His strikeouts dropped two per nine innings and he ultimately finished the year with a 4.05 ERA. The fact that he is an arm with such little big league experience has to suggest that he's going to be near the front of the line for players to be cut.