TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays emphasized starting pitching in adding right-handers Hector Perez, Trent Thornton, Patrick Murphy, Yennsy Diaz and Jacob Waguespack to fill out their 40-man roster ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for filing reserve lists.
Notable omissions included Canadian Jordan Romano, who is expected to attract the interest of other clubs in next month’s Rule 5 draft, fellow righties Jon Harris and Corey Copping, shortstop Kevin Vicuna, catcher Max Pentecost and outfielder Forrest Wall.
The moves mean the Blue Jays will have to cull from their 40-man roster to make adds in the upcoming months, although the Nov. 30 deadline to tender offers to arbitration-eligible players will likely create at least one spot, as Yangervis Solarte is expected to be non-tendered.
Perez, part of the return for Roberto Osuna, and Thornton, acquired Saturday from the Houston Astros for infielder Aledmys Diaz, were obvious adds to the 40-man roster, as was Murphy, the single-A Dunedin righty who won Florida State League pitcher of the year honours.
Diaz, who split the season between low-A Lansing and Dunedin, enjoyed a breakthrough season, posting a 3.05 ERA in 147.1 innings with 53 walks against 125 strikeouts.
Waguespack, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies for Aaron Loup, posted a combined ERA of 4.80 over 122 innings at double-A Reading, triple-A Lehigh Valley and triple-A Buffalo, striking out 112 batters against 46 walks.
Romano, a 25-year-old from Markham, Ont., logged 142.1 innings over 26 games, all but one at double-A New Hampshire. He posted a 4.11 ERA with 45 walks against 128 strikeouts. With mid-90s stuff, he could potentially slot into a big-league bullpen should a team decide to select him in the Rule 5 draft.
Players selected in the Rule 5 draft must remain in the big-leagues for a full season. The Blue Jays acquired Joe Biagini through the process three seasons ago.