Despite the fact that the regular season is over, the Toronto Blue Jays are active in the roster move department. Not only has Matt Chapman formally been extended a Qualifying Offer, but the Jays also made a minor trade and added an old friend (back) to the 40-man roster.
On Monday, the Blue Jays announced the Chapman QO, Mitch White's re-addition to the club's 40-man roster, and the acquisition of left-handed pitcher Brendon Little from the Chicago Cubs. Heading back to the Cubs in this deal is cash considerations, a player that gets traded more than anybody else nowadays (hopefully that joke lands).
For Chapman, a QO has been the predicted outcome for quite some time now. If he accepts, the Blue Jays will receive another year of his outstanding defense and strong bat that can at times be red-hot. If he declines - which he likely will - he will hit the open market and the Jays will get a 4th round compensatory pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. Chapman is only one of seven players around the league to receive the $20.325M QO.
White, 28, has posted a combined 7.60 ERA across 20 big league outings for the Blue Jays. He came over in a trade at the 2022 deadline and has done nothing but struggle in the majors for Toronto. However, after he was designated for assignment earlier this season, he saw his numbers dramatically improve in Triple-A with the Buffalo Bisons. All told, White made 18 appearances for the Bisons, posting a 5.19 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 30 walks in 59 innings.
While these numbers may not exactly jump off the page and scream "success", White was suddenly allowing less base hits and striking out way more batters than he typically has in the past. The first three starts he made in Buffalo were dreadful, as he had a 7.45 ERA and .375 batting average against in that time. In the next three, though? A 1.59 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 16 strikeouts over 17 innings. His sudden ability to keep runners off the bases and rack up the strikeouts undoubtedly proved that he was once again worth a 40-man spot with the Blue Jays.
Then there's Little, a 27-year-old left-hander who made his big league debut for the Cubs last season. Although he made just one outing and has a 40.50 ERA in the majors, Little looked strong for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs this season. Along the way, he made 50 outings, posting a 4.05 ERA with 73 strikeouts in as many innings. He has had high-strikeout stuff in the past and usually doesn't walk many or surrender too many longballs, so he'll give the Blue Jays another left-handed relief option in 2024.