It’s officially OFF-SEASON TRANSACTION TIME. The Blue Jays have a 40-man roster crunch ahead of them with a handful of sorta noteworthy prospects eligible for the Rule 5 draft. As a result, a few tweeners have been removed from the 40-man.
- Jose Fernandez was claimed by the Detroit Tigers. The lefty Fernandez had been in Toronto’s system since 2012 and finally made his debut with the team in September. He tossed 10 1/3 innings but wasn’t very effective. He allowed seven earned runs and struck out six batters while walking four.
- Rhiner Cruz, Taylor Guerrieri, and Jake Petricka cleared waivers and became free agents. I honestly barely remember Cruz pitching for the Blue Jays. Guerrieri was a former first-round pick who the Jays grabbed off waivers from Tampa Bay last winter. He pitched 9 2/3 innings for the team in September and looked OK. Petricka is somebody we saw quite a bit of last season. He spent most of his career with the White Sox but signed with the Jays as a free agent last winter. He tossed 45 2/3 innings for the Jays and had a 4.53 ERA. None are big losses by any stretch and all could be re-signed as minor league free agents later in the off-season.
- Justin Shafer cleared waivers and was out-righted to Triple-A Buffalo. Shafer, who was drafted back in 2014, had a damn good year in the minors. Between Double- and Triple-A, Shafer had a 1.13 ERA over 55 2/3 innings. He wasn’t claimed on waivers and remains under control by the Blue Jays.
So, yeah. Nothing overly exciting. We’ll have some more 40-man transactions coming up as the Jays look to fit names like Hector Perez, Jon Harris, Patrick Murphy, Jordan Romano, Jacob Waguespack, Max Pentecost, and Harold Ramirez on the 40-man to keep them from being exposed in the Rule 5 draft.
Losing lefty Jose Fernandez and keeping Mark Leiter Jr. on the 40-man roster is… curious. He's a candidate to stretch back out as rotation depth, but… #BlueJays
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) November 2, 2018
ALSO, as Keegan Matheson points out, Mark Leiter Jr. is still around, which is a surprise because he’s, uh, bad! Leiter was claimed off waivers from Philly and he went on to allow 10 runs in 6 2/3 innings with the Jays. He owns a career ERA of 5.53 over 114 big league innings and will turn 28 in March. Odd.