Blue Jays surprisingly DFA notable pitching prospect, who's immediately lost on waivers

Well that was fast.

Yosver Zulueta pitching at the All-Star Futures Game
Yosver Zulueta pitching at the All-Star Futures Game / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Blue Jays official Opening Day roster has been announced, with some news on players that have made the team, and players that are going on the IL. To make room for Daniel Vogelbach, one player was going to be cut. That player is Yosver Zulueta, the Jays #14 ranked prospect, by Jays Journal.

Just a short while after his DFA, reports have begun to surface that Zulueta was claimed off of waivers by the Cincinnati Reds. Any hopes of him passing through unclaimed and remaining in the Blue Jays' system are now dashed.

This decision came as a surprise to most fans, as Zulueta had some higher prospect pedigree not too long ago. Just last season, Zulueta was even ranked as the Jays #3 prospect by MLB. com, but things have taken a turn for the worse for the right-handed pitcher. He had shown lots of promise earlier in his time with the Jays, but eventually reached the point where the Jays became willing to move on.

Zulueta is a 26-year-old pitcher from Cuba, who signed with the Jays back in 2019 as an international free agent. Zulueta had undergone Tommy John surgery and recovered from a torn UCL, only pitching in one professional game from 2020-2021. He then began to pitch more frequently in 2022, where he managed to showcase some of his promise that the Jays bought into years prior. Zulueta had a 3.72 ERA in 55.2 innings, while striking out 84 batters. He's always shown the stuff to be a capable major league pitcher, possessing a fastball that hits the upper 90s and a wipeout slider. His biggest challenges were to prove his health, and hone in his command more.

2023 was a step back for Zulueta, pitching to a 4.08 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 45 games. He was walking more and striking out less, and getting older without showing much certainty of when he could make the major league roster, where he would most likely pitch as a reliever. Nevertheless, his stuff had continue to make improvements, as Zulueta began throwing harder after making tweaks at the Jays Development Complex. He was most certainly a project, but one that possessed impressive upside in the Jays farm.

Zulueta still has two options, where he could be sent down to the minor leagues, but given his injury history, the Jays opted to DFA him as their final roster move before the season officially begins. At just 26-years old, he's got plenty of time to get acclimated to the Reds' system and try his hand at making it to the big leagues there.