Friday was the deadline for teams to add players to their 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 Draft in early-December.
The Blue Jays had 35 players on their 40-man roster, and they used all five open spots to add prospects in order to protect them from being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft…
#BlueJays add five players to their 40-man:
• Riley Adams, C
• Gabriel Moreno, C
• Josh Palacios, OF
• Otto Lopez, IF
• Ty Tice, RHP
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) November 20, 2020
I wrote yesterday that Gabriel Moreno was an automatic because he’s one of the organization’s most highly-regarded prospects and Riley Adams also seemed like a very likely add because he’s near MLB-ready. But I also figured that the Blue Jays would only add three players, opting to leave a couple of 40-man roster spots open for free agents.
Instead, they added outfielder Josh Palacios, who was on the team’s 40-man playoff pool this year, young infielder Otto Lopez, who could have ended up in a similar situation to that of Elvis Luciano we had a couple of years ago, and Ty Tice, a reliever who has put up very good numbers in the upper minors.
My logic for the Blue Jays not rolling with a full 40-man is that it’s easier to get a prospect back when they’re selected in the Rule 5 Draft (like Travis Bergen and Jordan Romano) than it is to get a prospect through waivers if they’re designated for assignment in order to make room for somebody else (like Anthony Alford and Billy McKinney).
That said, there are other ways the Blue Jays could open up spots on the 40-man for off-season additions. They can non-tender Travis Shaw in December and they could designate somebody like Hector Perez or Yennsy Diaz who might not have a future with the team.
Anyways, the team now doesn’t have to worry about any of Moreno, Adams, Palacios, Lopez, or Tice being selected by another club. Some names who will be exposed in the Rule 5 Draft are Logan Warmoth, Kevin Smith, Ryan Noda, and Josh Winckowski.