Jays From the Couch looks at how the Toronto Blue Jays could handle Dalton Pompey’s situation as it relates to their 40 man roster
The Toronto Blue Jays 40 man roster is in interesting shape right now. There are a couple of guys not likely to return. There are some who are destined to stay in the minors for the foreseeable future. They have six guys on the 60 day DL, which don’t currently take up space on that list of 40, but they will when they return. Some time before the Rule 5 Draft, the club will have to make some decisions that will enable them to possibly protect some of their assets. One guy who fits into any number of these categories is Dalton Pompey. As such, there are a couple of ways the club could handle his situation moving forward.
Pompey suffered a concussion in the World Baseball Classic and missed a significant amount of time. Upon his return in July, he was removed due to an issue with his knee. He’s been out ever since. Back at the beginning of August, GM, Ross Atkins, appeared on PrimeTime Sports with Bob McCown and talked about where Pompey stands with his rehab.
The concussion was unfortunate. Then, when he came back, he had a knee issue that we’re still getting our arms around. We’ll have more information in a week. He could be playing very soon and that would be based on how he’s feeling and there’s a scenario where it’s not feeling better and we’ve got to consider another alternative.” That was on August 1st. There haven’t been any updates on his progress.
Considering there has been no news of progress, one has to assume that his injury was significant enough to keep him out all year. As far as how much of an impact it has on his 2018, we can only guess. It has been rather mysterious. So, what exactly could the Blue Jays do?
Considering the lingering mystery, the club could find the recovery process has been slower than anticipated and Pompey could become a longer resident on the disabled list. As long as he stays there, he wouldn’t be taking up a spot on the 40 man roster. On the surface, this might sound a little bit like manipulating the DL; a club could keep a guy on the DL just to bring more talent aboard. But, if Pompey hasn’t recovered, it wouldn’t be dishonest. And, considering how little news there’s been, this isn’t far fetched.
Doing this would allow the Blue Jays to delay having to really make a decision on Pompey’s future. No one really knows exactly what his future looks like, so having to face that decision down the road, when he’s actually healthy, might be more appealing for a club with so much on their plate this winter. That said, choosing this approach only delays the inevitable. Whether it is when the Rule 5 prep work begins, or in January, or before Spring Training, one has to think that Pompey will be healthy (right?), which means a decision will need to be made to make room for him, or to go in another direction.
The other possible direction is to designate Pompey for assignment. This would expose him to waivers, which means that another club could claim him and his time in Toronto would come to an end.
Now, before we start screaming and shouting with rage, let’s follow this through. Firstly, it needs to be said that belief in Dalton Pompey is not much stronger than around here. In the past, I’ve written that the Blue Jays need more of him. I’ve also written that they need to let him play AND that they should set him free. When healthy, Pompey brings a skill set that this club could benefit greatly from. It is for that reason that the risk of the DFA might be worth it.
At this point, if Pompey is actually healthy, no one seems to know that. His resume reads more like a med student’s notebook. So, the likelihood of him being claimed just might be quite low. Who is going to take a flyer on a guy who is never healthy and hasn’t had much success at the big league level when he is? And, even if they do, he may just get his chance to play in the big leagues, which would benefit him.
The timing of the DFA could also work in the Blue Jays’ favour. With numerous possibilities in free agency and trade, teams mightn’t be ready to choose off the proverbial scrap heap early on. Again, Pompey is not ‘scrap heap’ material, but other teams may not see him that way. And, that could be perfect for Toronto.
After a (hopefully) successful DFA, the Blue Jays retain Pompey’s services and keep him in the organization and, if he’s healthy, he’s knocking on the door of an outfield job in Rogers Centre. It could very well be worth the risk.
Look, our love for the soon to be 25 year old Canadian aside, the Blue Jays will have to make a decision about Pompey’s future. Right now, his position could depend on how badly Toronto wants to protect their list of possible Rule 5 eligible players. With guys like Danny Jansen, Rowdy Tellez, Conner Greene and Reese McGuire, it is entirely possible some roster manipulation is in order.
Obviously, losing Dalton Pompey to a waiver claim would be rather disappointing. A lot of what happens with him depends upon his health. The club has to decide if they want to take a calculated risk to protect some of their younger talent. If so, it is entirely possible that it pays off and they get to keep Pompey AND protect their other assets. It is risky, but it could pay off.
You may have seen that we started our very own Jays From the Couch Merchandise Shop! You can find a great assortment of apparel and more from your favorite Blue Jays website. The best part is that 100% of profits will be donated to the Canadian ALS Society! As part of our ongoing campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight ALS, we have also set up a campaign page where you can consider a straight up donation!
*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND INSTAGRAM. LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO AND SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!