The Blue Jays’ off-season roster shuffle has its first casualty.
According to Robert Murray, the Baltimore Orioles have claimed right-handed pitcher Bryan Baker, who the Blue Jays apparently removed from the 40-man roster.
Baker was one of the many arms who made his way through the Blue Jays’ bullpen this season.
Originally acquired back in 2018 as part of the trade that sent Seung-hwan Oh to Colorado, Baker put up a strong season in Triple-A in 2021. He tossed 41 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs on 18 hits and 17 walks while striking out 48. He made one appearance at the big league level, throwing a scoreless frame in a win against Oakland on Sept. 5.
This is going to be a reality of Toronto’s off-season. They have a crowded roster and a whole bunch of interesting prospects they’ll consider adding ahead of the Rule 5 draft, so players are going to have to come off the 40-man. It’s no surprise to see a team like Baltimore, with all kinds of roster flexibility, take a gamble on a hard-throwing reliever like Baker to see if something’s there.
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Other names we could see coming off the roster at some point are Tayler Saucedo, Kirby Snead, and Anthony Castro, perhaps even Trent Thornton or Antony Kay depending on how high the Blue Jays are on their Rule 5-eligible prospects.