2018 Blue Jays MiLB Players Elect Free Agency

The Blue Jays released a handful of prospects and had many more elects to test free agency or retire

 


I hate this time of year.

 

I cover Toronto’s minor league system 365 days a year, so it’s kinda hard for me to watch players elect free agency, get released, or retire. So you can imagine how happy I was on November 2nd.

Update: OF Eduard Pinto, INF Juan Kelly, C Patrick Cantwell, and C Alex Monsalve. Not sure if I missed them or these were late additions but here they are.

Buffalo Bisons

 

Free Agency

INF Jon Berti

The 28-yr-old finally made it to the Major Leagues in his 8th season. Berti had a great 2018. He was traded to the Cleveland organization and returned after just a few weeks. After returning, Berti went on a tear. He hit for the cycle, set a career high with 8 HR, and tied his previous highs with 7 triples. I’d love to see Berti back in the Toronto organization but I think he has a better chance with another organization.

 

INF Jason Leblebijian

The 27-yr-old former 25th round selection back in 2012 spent the last two season in Triple-A, making the IL All-Star team both times. Leb struggled after June, batting .122 and .208 in July and August. With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. expected to start in Buffalo in 2019 and set to lay claim on the Blue Jays hot corner for the foreseeable future, there is no room for Leb.

 

INF Tim Lopes

First, Christian Lopes, now Tim. Christian’s younger had an inconsistent 2018. Lopes finished the season strong with a .288 batting average in August. This pushed his BA up to .277; unfortunately, Lopes experienced a power outage with just 2 HR and just 19 doubles after hitting 7 HR and 27 doubles in 2017 with New Hampshire.

 

C Jose Mayorga

I don’t know, do you?

 

RP Jake Petricka

The reliever spent most of the year in Toronto. He should easily find a job in the majors next season.

 

P Murphy Smith

The 31-yr-old reliever was gifted 3.1 innings major league innings. A classy move if you ask me. Smith provided the Bisons with a quality veteran arm who spent time in the rotation and in the bullpen. Smith finished with a 3-4 record and 3.59 ERA pitching 6.2.2IP.

 

P Luis Santos

After posting a 2.70 ERA in 16.2 IP with Toronto in 2017, Santos posted a 7.20 ERA in 20.0 with Toronto in 2018. Santos put up good numbers in Buffalo (2-3, 2.74 ERA in 42.2IP Triple-A) and should be welcomed back to provide additional pitching depth.

 

P Zach Stewart, P Matt Tracy, P Preston Guilmet, P Brandon Crumpton, and P Mike Hauschild

MiLB organizational depth. Not much to say.

 

INF Darnell Sweeney

The 27-yr-old played 88 games for the Bisons between the infield and the outfield batting .236 with 10 HR. Sweeney played 2 games in Toronto. Not likely coming back in 2019.

 

New Hampshire

 

Free Agency

OF Harold Ramirez

The 24-yr-old played 120 games for the Fisher Cats putting together his best season yet. Ramirez hit 37 doubles, 11 HR, and batted .320. He will likely sign back with the Toronto organization and will be in a Bisons’ uniform to start 2019.

 

Dunedin

 

Free Agency

P Angel Perdomo

Over the past few seasons, the tall lefty was expected to be added to the 40-man roster. After a couple stints on the DL in 2017 and 2018, Perdomo might be transitioning into a bullpen role. I expect Perdomo to be back in 2019.

 

INF/P Emilio Guerrero

The 26-yr-old batted .263 with 14 doubles, and 4 HR in 74 games with the Fisher Cats in 2017. He attempted a move to the mound but spent 2018 in the 60-day DL in 2018. Guerrero might be done like done, done.

 

INF/OF Ivan Castillo

The 23-yr-old won the FSL batting title along with Rodrigo Orozco with a .304 BA. Castillo split time between 2B/3B/SS/LF. The way this Front Office values versatility, I fully expect Castillo to be signed and be on the Fisher Cats roster in 2019.

 

P Claudio Custodio

The 28-yr-old should be back next season. Custodio started in Lansing, spent 11 games in Dunedin, and 5 games in Buffalo. He throws gas and should see multiple levels again in 2019 in the Blue Jays system.

 

Release

C Owen Spiwak

The former 10th round selection played just 19 games between Vancouver, Lansing, and Dunedin. He played 31 games in 2015, the most of his career. The 23-yr-old will likely retire.

 

P Connor Eller

I’m kinda surprised with this one. Eller wouldn’t be mistaken as a top pitching prospect but he provided Dunedin and Lansing with an inning eater. Not sure what the future holds for the 24-yr-old righty.

 

Lansing

Free Agency

C Andres Sotillo

The 24-yr-old catcher spent 2018 with the Lugnuts batting .261 with 7 doubles, a pair of home runs and 11 RBI in 38 games. Sotillo should continue providing catcher depth for some organization just don’t think it’ll be in Toronto’s.

 

Released

P Dalton Rodriguez

The 22-yr-old posted a 2-1 record with a 5.80 ERA in 21 games and 35.2 innings. He finishes his Blue Jays career with 16 wins, 27 loses and a 5.09 ERA in 91 games.

 

OF Freddy Rodriguez

I was really holding out hope for the 21-yr-old outfielder but a .187 BA with 4 doubles and no HR between NWL and MWL will get you released.

 

Retired

P Matt Gunter

I think Gunter falls into the same category as Eller. The lefty posted a 4-7 record with a 5.88 ERA in 16 starts with Lansing. Gunter walked 40 and struck out 41 in 75.0 IP.

 

Vancouver

 

Released

Orlando Pascual

The 22-yr-old righty reliever split 2018 between Lansing (0-2, 4.57 ERA) and Vancouver (1-0, 3.09 ERA) in 2018. Pascual’s BJ career ends with a 9-4 record with a 2.69 ERA in 117.0IP, 11 SV, and 70 games.

 

Bluefield

 

Free Agency

OF/P Josh Almonte

The 24-yr-old spent 2018 transitioning from the outfield to the mound with Bluefield. He posted a 0-1 record with a 9.00 ERA, throwing 26.0 IP in 21 games. He also hit 11 batters.

 

Release

P Joel Espinal

The 22-yr-old righty was placed on the restricted list on May 18th, returning to action in August. He threw 3 innings with the D-Jays and 11.1 innings with Bluefield. His record ends 8-8 with a 4.00 ERA between 2015 and 2018.

 

GCL Blue Jays

 

Released

Alexander Molina

The 18-yr-old spent 2017 with the DSL Blue Jays (1-0, 3.70 ERA) and 2018 with the GCL Blue Jays (0-1, 4.50 ERA). He struggled with control walking 23 batters over 40.1 IP.

 

Retired

Matt Harris

The 2018 33rd round selection threw his last pitch on August 22nd. Harris finishes his professional career with a 0-0 record and 2.16 ERA while walking one and striking out 9 batters.

 

DSL Blue Jays

 

Free Agency

C Brayan Rodriguez

The 21-yr-old spent 2015 and 2016 in the New York Yankees organization before joining the DSL Blue Jays for 5 games in 2018.

 

1B Anthony Rodriguez

The 22-yr-old spent 2015, 2016, and 2017 with the DSL Astros. He joined the DSL Blue Jays in 2018 for 10 games batting .241.

 

SS Pedro Ventura

The 21-yr-old spent 2015, 2016, and 2017 between the DSL and GCL in the New York Mets organization before joining the DSL Blue Jays for 10 games in 2018. He batted .306 with 8 RBI.

 

C Sergio Leon

The 19-yr-old spent 2017 with the DSL Rangers. He did not play in 2018 despite being signed by Toronto on July 17th, 2018. He attempted a move to the mound but never threw a professional pitch.

 

 

Featured Pic credit: DaveMe

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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.

Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.