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Solarte a free agent after being non-tendered

Blue Jays offer contracts to nine arbitration-eligible players
MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- Yangervis Solarte's time with the Blue Jays has come to an end after the fifth-year infielder was non-tendered Friday night.

Teams had until 8 p.m. ET to tender non-guaranteed contracts to its arbitration-eligible players. Nine players received offers, but Solarte did not, which means he has been removed from Toronto's 40-man roster and becomes a free agent.

TORONTO -- Yangervis Solarte's time with the Blue Jays has come to an end after the fifth-year infielder was non-tendered Friday night.

Teams had until 8 p.m. ET to tender non-guaranteed contracts to its arbitration-eligible players. Nine players received offers, but Solarte did not, which means he has been removed from Toronto's 40-man roster and becomes a free agent.

Kevin Pillar, Joe Biagini and Devon Travis were considered by some as possible non-tender candidates, but all three received tenders. So did Ken Giles, Ryan Tepera, Randal Grichuk, Brandon Drury, Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez.

Arbitration contracts are not guaranteed until the player opens the season on the 25-man roster. Players released before the 16th day of Spring Training receive 30 days' termination pay; players cut after that receive 45 days' pay. In other words, teams can push some of these difficult roster decisions to a later date.

Solarte was considered a redundant piece in a crowded Blue Jays infield. His non-tender became inevitable earlier this month when the Blue Jays declined a $5.5 million team option and opted for a $750,000 buyout. The 31-year-old slashed .226/.277/.378 across 122 games in his lone season with Toronto.

Since the end of the regular season, the Blue Jays subtracted Solarte and Aledmys Diaz from their infield, yet the club still has plenty of depth. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should start at third by the end of April, which leaves Drury and Travis to battle it out at second. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. projects as the shortstop, with Richard Urena as the utility man. Troy Tulowitzki remains an unknown.

If anything, the Blue Jays might not be done removing infield pieces. Travis or Drury could be used as trade chips for pitching during the upcoming Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. The Blue Jays also have Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette advancing quickly through the system, which could provide Toronto with more confidence that it has enough depth to facilitate another deal.

Solarte's departure leaves the Blue Jays with one vacancy on their 40-man roster. The native of Venezuela was acquired from the Padres last offseason and quickly became a fan favorite after a hot start saw him put up seven home runs in April. His performance soon dropped, as did his popularity, with a frequent tendency to not run out ground balls.

In an unrelated move Friday, right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo. Leiter was designated for assignment earlier this week when right-hander Oliver Drake was claimed on waivers from the Rays.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Yangervis Solarte