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

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:

RHP Jason Adam, who pitched in 23 games for the Blue Jays in 2019, has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays. Neil Solondz, Rays broadcaster, reports that Adam will make $900,000 if he cracks the MLB club.

LHP Andrew Albers (North Battleford, Sask.) has signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners.

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.

INF Franklin Barreto, who was traded by the Blue Jays to the A’s as part of the Josh Donaldson deal in November 2014, has signed a minor league deal with the Houston Astros, per Martin Gallegos of MLB.com.

LHP Travis Bergen has signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.

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

LHP Matthew Boyd has signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. Jon Heyman, of the MLB Network, tweets that Boyd is guaranteed $5.2 million, but can made an additional $2.3 million in bonuses.

INF Homer Bush, who played with the Blue Jays from 1999 to 2002, has been named manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the MLB Draft League.

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

OF Ezequiel Carerra has announced his retirement.

RHP Anthony Castro has been traded to the Cleveland Guardians for OF Bradley Zimmer. The Blue Jays announced the transaction on April 7.

RHP Miguel Castro was traded to the New York Yankees by the New York Mets for left-hander Joely Rodriguez. The deal was announced on April 3.

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

1B Kacy Clemens, who was drafted in the eighth round in 2017 by the Blue Jays (and yes, he is the son of Roger), has signed with the Staten Island FerryHawks of the independent Atlantic League.

RHP Tyler Clippard has signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.

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.

OF Jose Cruz Jr., who played for the Blue Jays from 1997 to 2002, has been named head coach of the Rice University Owls baseball team.

RHP Chase De Jong, a Blue Jays’ 2012 second-round pick, has re-signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on a minor league deal.

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.

LHP Matt Dermody has signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs, per MLB Trade Rumors, Steve Adams.

OF Corey Dickerson has a signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cards, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The deal is for $5 million, plus performance incentive bonuses, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

INF Josh Donaldson was traded by the Minnesota Twins, along with Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela.

INF/OF Brandon Drury is in Cincinnati Reds’ camp, per Bobby Nightengale on Twitter. The Reds have reportedly signed him to a minor league deal.

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.

RHP Sam Gaviglio has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that includes an invite to major league spring training, per Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors.

RHP Zack Godley, who made six relief appearances for the Blue Jays in 2019, has signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

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).

INF Nash Knight, who played in the Blue Jays’ organization from 2015 to 2021, has signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers.

RHP Mat Latos, who made three starts for the Blue Jays in 2017, has re-signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League.

RHP Connor Law, who pitched parts of five seasons in the Blue Jays’ organization from 2017 to 2021, has signed with the Staten Island Ferry Hawks of the independent Atlantic League.

LHP Wade LeBlanc has retired, per a tweet from Jon Morosi of the MLB Network on April 2.

LHP Francisco Liriano announced his retirement on January 17.

RHP Jesse Litsch, who pitched for the Jays from 2007 to 2011, has been named manager of the Williamsport Crosscutters of the MLB Draft League.

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.

C Luke Maile has signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Cleveland Guardians, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network.

OF Jake Marisnick, a Blue Jays’ third-round pick in 2009, signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers. He was released by the Rangers at the end of spring training.

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

OF Billy McKinney has signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A’s. The deal includes an invite to MLB spring training, per an A’s announcement.

LHP Tommy Milone has been released by the Cincinnati Reds. He recently signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners and then on April 3 announced he was electing to become a free agent again.

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.

LHP Daniel Norris has signed with the Chicago Cubs. It’s a major league deal, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.

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

LHP Thomas Pannone has signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox.

C Carlos Perez, who spent parts of five seasons in the Blue Jays’ organization from 2008 to 2012 after being signed as an international free agent, has signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies.

RHP Jake Petricka signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins on March 31, per Phil Miller of Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

OF Kevin Pillar has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, per a Dodgers team announcement. Jon Heyman, of the MLB Network, tweets that Pillar will earn a $2.5-million base salary if he makes the big league team. The Dodgers reassigned Pillar to minor league camp on April 4. He will begin the season in triple-A.

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).

OF Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) has signed with the Guelph Royals of the Intercounty Baseball League.

OF Reggie Pruitt, who spent six years in the Blue Jays’ organization from 2015 to 2021, has signed with the independent Winnipeg Goldeyes.

OF Harold Ramirez, who spent three seasons in the Blue Jays’ organization from 2016 to 2018, has been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays by the Chicago Cubs for minor league infielder Esteban Quiroz.

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.

LHP Marc Rzepczynski has signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League.

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.

RHP Aaron Sanchez has signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals. Per Jesse Dougherty, of the Washington Post, Sanchez will make a base salary of $2 million with a chance to make a total of $3 million with performance bonuses.

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

INF Travis Shaw has signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox.

OF Moises Sierra has signed with the Kentucky Wild Health Gnomes of the independent Atlantic League.

OF Dwight Smith, who played 24 games for the Blue Jays in 2017 and 2018, has signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox, per Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America.

RHP Joe Smith has signed a one-year, $2.5-million contract with the Minnesota Twins, per Phil Miller of the Star Tribune.

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, who selected 38th overall by the Blue Jays in 2010 MLB draft, has signed a reported one-year, $21-million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

RHP Ryan Tepera has signed a two-year, $14-million deal with the Los Angeles Angels, per Jon Heyman of The MLB Network.

1B Eric Thames, who played 141 games with the Blue Jays in 2011 and 2012, has signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s.

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

INF Gio Urshela signed a one-year, $6.55-million contract to return to the New York Yankees and then was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the Donaldson deal noted above.

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

INF Jonathan Villar has signed a one-year, $6-million contract with the Chicago Cubs, per Jon Heyman of The MLB Network.

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.

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

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  1. Thank you for doing all this work Kevin! Great information!! Love my Blue Jays! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ It was tough seeing Josh in Yankee uniform today!

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