Blue Jays add Spencer Horwitz, Addison Barger, Yosver Zulueta, and Orelvis Martinez to the 40-man roster

The Blue Jays’ roster has officially been set ahead of the Rule 5 draft.

To no one’s surprise, right-handed pitcher Yosver Zulueta, third baseman/shortstop Orelvis Martinez,  first baseman Spencer Horwitz, and third baseman/shortstop Addison Barger have been added to the 40-man roster.
Update: To make room for Zulueta, Horwitz, Martinez, and Barger, Foster Griffin was released, while Bradley Zimmer and Raimel Tapia were designated for assignment.
Let’s look at the prospects added to the 40-man roster.
Yosver Zulueta:
The 24-year-old Zulueta had a combined 3.72 ERA in 55.2 innings pitched in all four “A” levels of the minors in 2022. He had a fantastic 33.9 K% but struggled with the walks as he had a 12.9 BB%, which increased with each level he pitched at. This is to be expected, as he’s missed the last two seasons due to injuries and the plague year.

Zulueta just fanned his first runner throwing…
100 mph!!!!!!#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/RjpNT5v6Jl
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 7, 2022

Aside from the high strikeout rate and solid results, Zulueta was added to the 40-man roster due to the tools and potential he has. The Cuban has an 80-grade fastball which often reaches 100 mph, a plus slider, and a plus changeup, as well as an average curveball.
It’s possible, potentially even likely, that we will see Zulueta on the Blue Jays in 2023.
Addison Barger:
No Jays system position player had a year like Addison Barger. The 23-year-old slashed .308/.378/.555 with 26 homers in 526 plate appearances in High A, Double A, and Triple A. 
Although he likely ran out of gas in the Arizona Fall League (slashed just .189/.318/.321 in 63 plate appearances), Barger has taken a tremendous step forward in his development. The biggest change was the approach at the plate, which saw his K% drop from 32.9% in 2021 to 24.9% in 2022 across the three levels.

Addison Barger (@AddisonBarger) with his ninth homer of the season with the Fisher Cats!#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/D4BFPLk7er
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) September 15, 2022

Prior to the Arizona Fall Lea …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Best of what’s left: pooper scooping free agency for the Leafs

The Leafs’ cap situation and near-complete roster probably support the notion that there isn’t any reason to worry about who is left in free agency or not. Still, as we saw yesterday, trades are going to happen around the league and as a result, there is a possibility of cap space or holes in the roster. That’s why we’ll put in some work regarding who is left even if the Leafs free up space by moving all three of Holl, Muzzin, and Kerfoot, that probably isn’t enough to take a run at Nazem Kadri. So I’ll reluctantly exclude him from the list, and focus on the players that seem like they could fit the Leafs’ cap situation, and address some kind of need for Toronto.
As a refresher, here’s the Leafs cap situation (think depth chart, not line combos. I assure you I’m not suggesting line combinations in the below table, otherwise at the very least Joey Anderson would be there.)

Gross, right? No money, can’t even sign a league minimum player let alone the two RFAs. Let’s clean that up a bit more to give you all some peace of mind as to why we’re talking about free agents still.

There. That seems a little bit better. There is still a minimum of $2.25M that needs to be committed to those fourth line roster spots, but with three standard players contracts still available it at least gives the illusion that anything is possible and the Leafs can still add or at the very least the Sandin and Engvall signings start looking feasible. So if we’re talking about the 50 SPC limit, and two of the remaining contracts are spoken for wit …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays make a trade for Foster Griffin, a former 1st round pick and make other roster moves

A litany of roster moves were announced early Saturday morning, including a trade!

The Jays traded 20-year-old minor league pitcher Jonatan Bernal to the Kansas City Royals for 26-year-old pitcher Foster Griffin.
Pitching mainly for the Omaha Royals, Griffin has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 2.86 FIP in 28 innings pitched with the AAA ball club. His K/9 sits at 10.29 while his BB/9 is a rather impressive 1.93.
There’s very little Baseball Savant data on the 26-year-old lefty, but I can tell you what he throws and what his average velocity is. He throws a cutter at 89.3 mph, a four seamer at about 94 mph, a changeup at 85.1 mph and a curveball at 79.9 mph.
His velocity actually ticked up from 2020, where he his cutter for 86.2 mph and four seamer for 91.8 mph.
This season is his first season pitching out of the pen. However, Griffin’s pitch mix is an unusual one for a reliever. It’s to be seen if the Jays attempt to stretch him out again, as they only have two starting pitchers in Buffalo (Casey Lawrenece, Thomas Hatch). Below is a thread where he struck out the side, dating back to June 9th.

@Foster_Griffin strikeout thread from June 9th.#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/uErUbAUVCk
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 16 …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation