The Blue Jays finalized their pre-Rule 5 Draft 40-man roster on Tuesday, selecting the contracts of Trent Thornton, Hector Perez, Yennsy Diaz, Patrick Murphy, and Jacob Waguespack.
Selected to the Blue Jays 40-man roster – RHP Trent Thornton, RHP Hector Perez, RHP Yennsy Diaz, RHP Patrick Murphy and RHP Jacob Waguespack.
— Blue Jays PR (@BlueJaysPR) November 21, 2018
Left off the 40-man and now eligible to be poached from other teams in the Rule 5 draft are guys like…
- Jordan Romano, a 25-year-old Canadian right-handed starter who had a solid season in New Hampshire last year. Romano tossed 137 1/3 innings with the Fisher Cats and posted a 4.13 ERA.
- Max Pentecost, a former first-round pick of the Blue Jays who has had his career derailed by injuries. Pentecost was a damn good prospect once upon a time, but he’s had a hard time staying on the field. That said, he had a really strong finish to last season, which is a reason to be optimistic. He didn’t get selected in last year’s Rule 5 draft.
- Jon Harris, another former first-round pick of the Jays. Harris was in his second go-around at Double-A and posted a 4.75 ERA. He’s quickly reaching non-prospect status.
- Travis Bergen, a 25-year-old reliever who had a lights out season between Dunedin and New Hampshire. Bergen tossed 56 2/3 innings between two levels and posted a ridiculous 0.95 ERA.
- Jackson McClelland, another minor-league reliever who recently found some new velocity pitching in the Arizona Fall League. He had a 4.33 ERA between two levels last year.
- Forrest Wall, one of the prospects who came back from Colorado in the Seung-hwan Oh deal. The former first-round pick hasn’t been able to figure it out with the bat and slashed a .263/.343/.402 line between Double- and Single-A last year in Toronto and Colorado’s systems.
- Some more names who are eligible to be scooped who I’m not going to go into depth on are… Alberto Mineo, Kevin Vicuna, Christian Williams, Bryan Lizardo, Jesus Severino, Rodrigo Orozco, Josh DeGraaf, Conor Fisk, Danny Young, and Corey Copping.
Left on the 40-man roster, somewhat surprisingly, are…
- Yangervis Solarte, who had his option declined, but still remains a play who the Blue Jays have control over for a couple more years.
- Dalton Pompey, who we all just sort of assumed was done with the organization after he wasn’t added to the roster in September.
- Mark Leiter Jr., a thoroughly unspectacular relief pitcher who the Jays grabbed off waivers from the Phillies.
Sooooooo, yeah! There’s a decent list of players the Jays could lose in the Rule 5 draft but I wouldn’t really sweat any of them, to be honest. It’s a little odd they chose to keep Solarte, Pompey, and Leiter on the 40-man over, like, Romano, Wall, or Bergen, but are those really players who are going to take a leap to the majors? I doubt it. There’s similar talent in other organizations who are going to be left unprotected too.
Something else I didn’t think of is that the Jays are keeping these fringe prospects off of their roster because if they sign a UFA and have to DFA one of those prospects to make room, it becomes easier for a team to claim them. So if a player is taken in the Rule 5, they have to remain with that club’s 25-man, whereas if they’re simply DFA post-UFA signing, they wouldn’t.