Jays From the Couch runs down the 2018 Blue Jays with 3, 2, 1, and no player options remaining
If you don’t know what a Player Option is or how it works, Fangraphs does an excellent job explaining (link).
Management loves Player Options.
Players……not so much.
It seems like we, bloggers/fans/media, spend soooo much of Spring Training discussing which player will win which job based on their past/spring performances. In actuality, for most borderline players making the team or not making the team usually comes down to whether management has exhausted all their Player Options.
Management is greedy and they should be. They want to accumulate as much major league talent as possible to create depth in the upper minors. This typically is done by utilizing all three player options at their disposal.
This offseason the Blue Jays added catchers Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, first baseman Rowdy Tellez, LHP Thomas Pannone, and RHP Conner Greene to the 40-man roster. This made them ineligible to other teams during the Rule 5 Draft this past December. Being added to the 40-man roster allows Toronto the opportunity to add/remove these players to the 25-man roster without passing through waivers and being exposed to other teams.
3 Player Options Remaining
Not every major league baseball player gets added to the 40-man roster and right to the 25-man roster, never returning to the minors. These players are special talents and will have all three player options; therefore, their inclusion in this article serves no purpose of this discussion.
SP Thomas Pannone
SP Chris Rowley*
SP/RP Luis Santos*
SP Conner Greene
RP Tim Mayza
C Danny Jansen
C Reese McGuire
1B Rowdy Tellez
OF Ian Parmley *
2 Player Options Remaining
SP Ryan Borucki
RP Chad Girodo*
RP Matt Dermody
RP/SP Joe Biagini
SP/RP Deck McGuire
OF Dwight Smith Jr.
INF Richard Urena
INF Lourdes Gurriel
1 Player Option Remaining
RP Ryan Tepera
RP Danny Barnes
INF Aledmys Diaz
INF Gift Ngoepe
OF Harold Ramirez*
Note- Many of you may wonder why I included relievers Danny Barnes, Ryan Tepera, and Dominic Leone to list. The trio are expected to once again be key contributors in the bullpen for Toronto in 2018; however, the effectiveness of relievers varies from year to year. We are not guaranteed the 2018 version of Leone can hold a spot in a major league bullpen and the same can be said about Barnes and Tepera.
Out of Player Options
* No longer on the 40-man roster; therefore, will need to be added to the 40-man roster to be called up.
We can safely assume that Zeke will once again be in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform, being that he is the only player with no options remaining. This does not bode well for the aspiring 4th outfielders, such as Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey, or Dwight Smith Jr.
This is good news.
With so many players in possession of Player Options, we can expect Toronto can bring the best team north with them for Opening Day.
In years past, Blue Jays fans were subjected to players ‘winning’ a job based on being ‘out of options’ rather than his spring performance. This spring the door is wide open for any number of prospects to battle for a job.
Many fans of the club have already penciled Teoscar Hernandez as their everyday right fielder but what if Teo has a poor spring? Did he do enough last September to etch his name in stone for a starting job in 2018?
With 2 options still remaining, it’s possible Alford, Pompey, or Smith Jr could claim that job with an eye-popping spring. Or Urena and Gurriel Jr claim a spot on the bench, sending Gift Ngoepe to Buffalo.
Anything is possible……but unlikely.
Lastly, let’s not underestimate the value of Player Options on the open market.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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