Blue Jays: Players on the 40-Man roster bubble after Bassitt and Kiermaier signings

Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

With the Blue Jays recently reported signing of Kevin Kiermaier and Chris Bassitt, the 40-man roster is now one player over it's max capacity.

This means that with the anticipated additions to the major league roster, subtractions will have to be made from the preexisting group. There are a variety of players with either minimal experience, a lack of fit in the overarching roster construction, or recent poor performances that could find themselves on the shortlist of players that could be removed.

These players can be removed a number of ways. The simplest would be a straight release, though the Blue Jays would be on the hook for that agreed upon salary from before.

Another option is to place a player on waivers, meaning all other teams around the league have just under two days to "claim" him, meaning he would be removed from the Jays 40-man and placed onto the claiming club's 40-man. If nobody claims the player, most of the time he is able to be sent to Triple-A while no longer taking up a spot on the 40-man roster. This transaction over the offseason is typically reserved for younger players. Another solution would be including the player in a trade themselves.

With this being said and subtractions from the pre-existing 40-man imminent, who could be on that list of players forced to find new homes? While there's no way of knowing who exactly the front office values enough to keep, we as fans can come to our own conclusions by examining the current construction of this roster.

Julian Merryweather

With all of the additions to the bullpen, it’s the most plausible to see a reliever removed. Merryweather finds himself on the short list of relievers with no defined role as of this point. With the addition of Erik Swanson, as well as other possible boosts to the bullpen, Merryweather could find himself the odd man out. It’s been a disappointing two seasons for Julian, especially considering the potential in that arm.

Trent Thornton

Similar to Merryweather, Thornton finds himself without a role. The former trade acquisition's value lies in the fact that he can work multiple innings at a time, given his history as a former starter. Despite this versatility, Thornton is on the outside looking in.

Anthony Kay

This one hurts because I like him, but Kay’s position isn’t favorable at this point. Kay has no role with this club, and failed to take advantage of developing time in AAA last season. An ERA of 5.48 in Buffalo this past season doesn’t paint a pretty pitcher, and the Jays might be ready to move on from the former prospect.

Thomas Hatch

Hatch is a similar story to Kay, a once intriguing prospect who’s fallen off in recent years. Hatch has a rough year in Buffalo, and failed to contribute to the Jays in limited chances this past summer. He could be on the short list of players to be removed from the 40-man.

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