With the Blue Jays influx of free agents from before Christmas being made official, there was some roster shuffling to be done in order to fit the newcomers into the 40-man roster. With Travis Shaw officially becoming a Blue Jay, Richard Urena was the odd-man-out.
OFFICIAL: We've signed INF Travis Shaw to a one-year contract. Welcome to the #BlueJays Travis!
To make room on the 40-man roster, INF Richard Ureña has been designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/rLORpMS8fm
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) December 30, 2019
Given that Shaw is an infielder, it isn’t all too surprising that another infielder was removed from the roster. That said, I didn’t expect Urena to be the guy. Yet again, Breyvic Valera, a guy the Jays grabbed late last year off of waivers, has survived to see another day as a member of this organization.
I mean, we’re dealing with backup infielders here, so it isn’t really that big of a deal, but it’s a little surprising to see the Jays cling to Valera rather than Urena given the fact the latter is four years younger and likely still has quite a bit more room to grow. To be fair to Valera, he did post strong numbers in Triple-A last season, while Urena didn’t, so my guess is that Valera figures to be the backup infielder while Santiago Espinal, who was added to the 40-man ahead of the Rule 5 draft, has jumped Urena on the depth chart.
Urena didn’t have any more options left and would have had to crack the roster or go on waivers at the end of spring training. Maybe he slides through waivers and remains with the organization. Try not to let this worry you as you enjoy your New Year’s celebrations.