The Toronto Blue Jays announced today that they have tendered contracts to arbitration-eligible players Josh Donaldson, Roberto Osuna, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Devon Travis, Kevin Pillar, Dominic Leone, Aaron Loup, and outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, as well as the other 40-man roster players who were not eligible for arbitration.
— Blue Jays PR (@BlueJaysPR) December 2, 2017
This means that Ryan Goins and Tom Koehler have been non-tendered and thus are now eligible for free agency.
Koehler was a pretty easy call. While he definitely has some value as either a fifth starter of a swing man, his career 5.00 DRA and 4.39 ERA just aren’t quite worth his projected $6M in arbitration to a team that is often dealing with budget constraints. It’s possible the club will attempt to bring him back on a shorter deal, but for now he is free to talk to every club.
The name that more people will definitely be surprised to see go is the sure-handed middle infielder, Ryan Goins. Goins has become something of a favourite to certain sects of the fans in Toronto thanks to his slick glove work at the keystone sack and an odd fixation from the local talking heads, but his overall lack of offensive production (a career batting line of .228/.275/.335) was often a big problem. He seems to have nine lives like a cat, as every time it seemed he was about to be let go or demoted, someone got hurt. In fact, thanks to the fragility of the two infielders who play ahead of him, Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis, Goins has received 1058 plate appearances over the last three years. That is just far too many for someone with his limited skillset at the plate. With the Jays openly pursuing upgrades at the backup infielder position, it was time for Gogo to go.
He should be able to latch on with some other team, though. Despite a down year defensively at SS in 2017, Goins has shown that he can be a very useful late inning defensive replacement for a team whose starting middle infielders are capable of staying on the field for 150+ games.
Aaron Loup and Ezequiel Carrera both also could have been on the bubble, but performed well enough in 2018 to be worth their projected salaries ($1.8M and $1.9M, respectively). As such, both were tendered deals for the upcoming season. Loup in particular makes sense simply due to the dearth of lefthanded relievers on the roster, while Carrera still projects nicely as a fourth outfielder and thus is worth keeping around as quality depth.
These non-tenders leave the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster at 37 heading into what looks to be a busy month of December.
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