Blue Jays set to release Matt Gage, puzzling saga comes to a close
After signing longtime Yankees reliever Chad Green to a unique multi-year contract, the Toronto Blue Jays made the puzzling decision to give Green a 40-man roster spot at the expense of Matt Gage, one of only three left-handed pitchers on the roster.
Gage, 29, was designated for assignment to make room for Green despite the fact that plenty of right-handed pitchers were likely lower on the organizational totem pole than he was, including Thomas Hatch and Trent Thornton.
Here we are, a week later, and Gage has reportedly made it through waivers. Instead of stashing him in Triple-A Buffalo, the Blue Jays are deciding to release him.
Release waivers are very similar to conventional outright waivers. Players who are placed on release waivers are once again made available for other teams to claim him, but in this case, the player is able to reject a claim and instead test the free agent market.
It's surprising that none of the other 29 teams around the league were interested in him enough to claim him and add him to their own 40-man roster. He has limited big league experience, but looked strong in his brief time in The Show.
Since Gage made it through outright waivers without being claimed, there's very little chance that he is claimed now that he's on release waivers. The likeliest outcome here is that he passes through and is ultimately cut loose by the Jays, putting an end to this strange string of events.
In 11 big league appearances (all coming last season), Gage looked sharp, posting an ERA of 1.38 while striking out 12 batters in 13 innings. He looked even better in Triple-A, making 41 appearances and posting a 2.34 ERA. He spent some time as the Bisons' closer as well, earning 12 saves and allowing just one home run all season in 42+ innings of work.