Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blue Jays Clean Out Some Dead Wood

If this writer understands this properly, MLB teams have to set their 40 man rosters and at the same time, clean out their Disabled List in preparation for the Rule V Draft. That means that each team has to choose which 40 players in their organization they can't do without. For the Blue Jays, that meant cleaning out their disabled list of pitchers, Rommie Lewis, Jessie Litsch and Dustin McGowen. Those three players were added to the 40 man roster meaning the Blue Jays had to clear some space. Edwin Encarnacion was put on waivers and Brian Tallet and Dewayne Wise were assigned to Las Vegas.

Encarnacion was immediately claimed by the Athletics, so his era in Toronto is over. Encarnacion had some pop in his bat but couldn't get himself on base enough and performed poorly at third base. But his 111 OPS+ in 2010 is better than most of what the Athletics put in their line up, so the flyer on Encarnacion makes sense.

Brian Tallet and Dewayne Wise both refused their minor league assignments (as the Blue Jays probably expected) and both are now free agents. Tallet, 33, had a good stretch in the Blue Jays' bullpen from 2006 to 2008. In 2009, the Blue Jays tried to convert him to a starter and though he had a few good games, the overall result was poor. He returned to the Blue Jays' bullpen in 2010 with disastrous results. According to Fangraphs, he had the second least effective year of any AL bullpen pitcher. The Blue Jays obviously have seen enough and will move on. Tallet could probably catch on somewhere. He is a lefty after all and left-handed arms always seem to end up somewhere.

The future is not as clear for Wise. After eight part time seasons as a fast outfielder with no power, Wise has barely kept his career alive. He's now 32 years old and may catch on somewhere as a fifth outfielder off the bench. But realistically, it's hard to imagine anyone signing him to anything other than a minor league deal, which won't improve the deal he just turned down from the Blue Jays. But at least such a deal from another team would result in a Spring Training invite that will allow him to compete for a spot. The Blue Jays have lots of outfield options and will not miss Wise at all.

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