5 players whose 40-man roster spot is in jeopardy after Yariel Rodriguez signing

Yariel Rodriguez's addition to the Blue Jays' 40-man roster means there are 41 players fighting for 40 spots. Who is the odd man out?

Sep 24, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Trevor Richards (33)
Sep 24, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Trevor Richards (33) / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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RHP Trevor Richards

Easily the most accomplished player to be featured on this list, Richards is a long shot to be DFA'd, but again, it's not an impossibility. The right-hander has made 150 appearances for the Blue Jays over the past two-and-a-half years but the results have been a bit mixed.

Last year, the six-year veteran made 56 appearances, three of them coming as an "opener" when the starting pitching depth was getting tight in June. At times, he was a dominant force, but he was not able to maintain this stretch of solid play throughout the entirety of the season.

In 30 first-half appearances last year, Richards posted a 3.02 ERA and allowed hitters to hit just .196 off of him. He was using his electric changeup to fool everyone who came up to bat against him and he looked like he could even make the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. A mid-season injury took him out of play for a bit, and he was a different pitcher when he returned.

In the second half, Richards went from one of the best relievers in the league to one of the worst. In 26 appearances in the second half, he had an 8.04 ERA and opponents hit .274 off of him with an OPS+ of 138. The year so rapidly went from positive to negative that now it's difficult to see the Jays sticking with Richards long-term.

It's worth noting that Richards will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2024 season. If the Jays cut bait, he'd have to either be traded or released, as he is out of options and possesses the ability to reject an assignment to Triple-A. It's not impossible to see teams try and acquire him if he's DFA'd as he showed such immense promise at the beginning of last year. It just feels like the Rodriguez signing could squeeze him out of a role.