Ex-Blue Jays: A summary of off-season transactions

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By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

All Toronto Blue Jays fans know by now that American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray has departed for a lucrative five-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.

They’re also well aware that American League MVP finalist and Gold Glove Award winner Marcus Semien has exited for a seven-year deal, $175-million deal with the Texas Rangers.

But what about those less-talked about former Blue Jays that quietly signed minor league deals or contracts to play in the foreign ranks this off-season?

These are the players I probably spend too much time wondering about. But it also explains why I’ve dedicated a lot of time this off-season to documenting all of the transactions that I could find that involve ex-Blue Jays, no matter their resume.

This is a work in progress, but here’s my list so far:

INF Edgardo Alfonzo, who played 12 games for the Blue Jays in 2006, has been hired to manage the Staten Island Ferry Hawks of the independent Atlantic League, according to the MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

RHP Jacob Barnes has signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers.

OF Socrates Brito has signed with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

OF Melky Cabrera, who played for the Blue Jays in 2013 and 2014, has announced his retirement

RHP Tyler Chatwood has signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan).

RHP A.J. Cole has signed with the Yakult Swallows of Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan).

RHP Taylor Cole, who pitched in one game for the Blue Jays in 2017, has signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox.

RHP Anthony DeSclafani, a Blue Jays’ 2011 sixth-round draft pick, has agreed to a three-year, $36-million contract to return to the San Francisco Giants.

INF Mariano Duncan, who played 39 games for the Blue Jays in 1997, has been named bench coach of the New York Mets’ double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

OF Derek Fisher has signed a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins.

RHP Wilmer Font has re-signed with the SSG Landers of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

RHP Willlie Fraser, who pitched in 13 games for the Blue Jays in 1991, has been hired as a special assistant to the GM of the Washington Nationals, according to The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli.

INF Freddy Galvis has signed a two-year contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan). According to Associated Press, the deal could pay him up to $6 million.

INF Ryan Goins has re-signed with the Atlanta Braves on a minor league contract.

C Yan Gomes has signed a two-year, $13-million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

RHP Kendall Graveman has signed a three-year, $24-million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

RHP Daniel Hudson has signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His 2022 salary will reportedly be $6 million. The Dodgers have a $6.5 million option for 2023 that includes a $1-million buyout.

RHP Dane Johnson, who pitched for the Blue Jays in 1996 and was later a coach with the club, will return to the Kansas City Royals’ double-A Omaha Storm Chasers as their pitching coach.

RHP Steve Karsay, the Blue Jays No. 1 pick in the 1990 MLB draft, has resigned as the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen coach for family reasons.

RHP Nick Kingham has signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

LHP Francisco Liriano announced his retirement on January 17.

INF/OF Tim Lopes, who played in double-A and triple-A in the Blue Jays’ organization in 2017 and 2018, has signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies.

LHP Aaron Loup has signed a two-year, $17-million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

LHP Steven Matz has signed a reported four-year, $44-million contract (incentive clauses could make it worth more) with the St. Louis Cardinals.

LHP Tommy Milone has been released by the Cincinnati Reds.

LHP Sean Nolin has signed a one-year, $600,000 contract (that includes additional performance bonuses) with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), per ESPN KBO Insider Daniel Kim.

RHP Connor Overton has signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

OF Gregory Polanco, who ended the 2021 season with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, has signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan).

LHP Robbie Ray has signed a five-year, $115-million contract with the Seattle Mariners.

INF Rob Refsnyder has signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox.

INF/OF Juan Samuel, who played 157 games with the Blue Jays between 1996 and 1998, has been hired as a minor league hitting instructor by the Cincinnati Reds, per Jon Heyman of The MLB Network

INF Marcus Semien has signed a seven-year, $175-million contract with the Texas Rangers.

OF Travis Snider announced his retirement on January 13.

1B Chad Spanberger, who played in the Blue Jays’ organization in 2018 and 2019, has been released by the Milwaukee Brewers.

RHP Glenn Sparkman has signed with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).

RHP Marcus Stroman has signed a reported three-year, $71-million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

RHP Noah Syndergaard has signed a reported one-year, $21-million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

INF Richard Urena has signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.

INF Gio Urshela has signed a one-year, $6.55-million contract to return to the New York Yankees.

INF Breyvic Valera has signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan).

RHP Jacob Waguespack has signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan).

OF Turner Ward, who played 98 games for the Blue Jays between 1991 and 1993, has been named an assistant hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals.

1B Tyler White, who spent 2021 with the Blue Jays’ triple-A Buffalo Bisons, has signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.

RHP Kirby Yates, who hurt his elbow in spring training in 2021 with the Blue Jays and underwent Tommy John surgery, has signed a two-year, $8.25-million contract with the Atlanta Braves.

4 thoughts on “Ex-Blue Jays: A summary of off-season transactions

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    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      Thanks for reading, Scott. It was a lot of work to put this together.

    1. cooperstownersincanada – Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.
      cooperstownersincanada says:

      Thanks for reading, Scott. It was a lot of work to put this together.

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