Blue Jays 2024 Opening Day roster projection 1.0: Which infielder gets squeezed out?

Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider (14) looks on from the
Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider (14) looks on from the / Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
6 of 6

Just missed

Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo Escobar was brought aboard on a minor league deal, but he fills the exact role that so many others on the roster do already. He's a former All-Star and is a 13-year big league veteran, but he performed so poorly last year that there's not much cause for enthusiasm here. He will miss the Opening Day roster and likely opt out of his deal rather than report to Triple-A.

Santiago Espinal

Obviously Santiago Espinal is the biggest "just missed" candidate on the positon player side. He didn't do very many things well on the field last year and seems to be the perfect trade candidate. Dont' get me wrong, the Blue Jays are not going to get a top prospect or even a big league-ready player in return, but they'd better move on before his value hits zero.

Bowden Francis

It was tough to keep Bowden Francis off of this list, especially after how admirably he performed last year. Despite being optioned many times and never quite nailing down the consistent playing time he both wanted and deserved, he still went out there and shoved every time his name was called. He's said to be working on a new pitch this offseason and is eyeing a starting role long-term, so start him in Buffalo and let him work up to being a big league starter.

Spencer Horwitz

It was either going to be Spencer Horwitz or Vogelbach earning that last bench spot on the Opening Day roster. In some ways, they are a very similar ballplayer. Both of them are limited to first base defensively, which makes having one of them on the big league roster much easier than both of them. Vogelbach provides the power while Horwitz is much more contact-oriented. Call it a hunch, but it feels like the Jays are going to want to lean in favor of pop over contact, at least to start the year.

Mitch White

Mitch White's lack of minor league options makes this a tricky situation. He was DFA'd and removed from the 40-man mid-season last year but then went down to Triple-A and showed considerable flashes of potential. Now back on the 40-man once again, the Blue Jays clearly have faith in him maintaining his success in Buffalo. It's either going to be him or Rodriguez for that final spot in the bullpen. Sure, Rodriguez can be optioned this year, but he's also the better pitcher. Feels like the choice is to just DFA White again and see if he can sneak through waivers as he did last time.