Matt Gage getting designated for assignment leaves Blue Jays with two left-handed pitchers on their 40-man roster
Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis10 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays added to their bullpen on Tuesday, inking Chad Green to a creative, multi-year contract.
Green last pitched on May 19 and his 2022 season ended prematurely as he underwent Tommy John surgery. The hope is that Green will join the Blue Jays at some point in late July or August and contribute to the team’s bullpen down the stretch and into the playoffs.
When word first came out about the signing, the thought was that the Blue Jays would wait until pitchers and catchers report in a couple of weeks to make it official because they’d have then been able to open up a spot on the 40-man roster by moving Hyun Jin Ryu to the 60-day Injured List. Instead, the signing was immediately made official and Matt Gage was designated for assignment to open a spot on the roster for Green.
Seeing Gage as the odd man out was a little surprising. The Blue Jays signed him last off-season and he posted a 2.34 ERA over 42 1/3 innings for Triple-A Buffalo and he put up a 1.38 ERA over 13 innings in his first go-around at the Major League level.
It’s also a curious move because it leaves the Blue Jays with just three left-handed pitchers on their 40-man roster, and that number will go down to two when Ryu is ultimately moved to the 60-day Injured List. The only other lefty pitchers the team has on their roster are Tim Mayza and Yusei Kikuchi.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Blue Jays add another lefty pitcher to their bullpen mix. There was a report from Ken Rosenthal last week that suggested that they were among the teams interested in Matt Moore, Zack Britton, and Andrew Chafin, who all remain available as free agents. There’s also been speculation that the Blue Jays could make a 40-man clearing trade, much like the one they made with the New York Mets a couple of years ago that saw Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, and Josh Winckowski.
The heavy lifting of the off-season is done by now but adding a lefty reliever would be the front office’s top priority for improving the Blue Jays ahead of Opening Day. The current roster composition leaves the team pretty vulnerable, as an injury to Mayza would leave their pitching staff pretty much entirely right-handed.
When Ryu gets moved to the 60-day Injured List in the coming weeks, I’d expect another left-handed arm to fill his open spot on the roster.
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