Blue Jays claim Guerrieri amid flurry of moves

Righty a former first-round pick by Rays; catcher Lopez, pitchers Santos, Cole, Campos outrighted

November 6th, 2017
Taylor Guerrieri made just two starts in 2017 for Triple-A Durham due to arm issues. (AP)

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added a former first-round Draft pick on Monday afternoon and made a series of moves to trim their 40-man roster before the official start of free agency.

Toronto claimed righty-hander off waivers from the Rays. Catcher Raffy Lopez, right-hander , right-hander and right-hander were outrighted off the 40-man roster and now become free agents.

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The Blue Jays currently have 36 players on their 40-man roster. A group of prospects likely will be added before December's Rule 5 Draft, and free agents were able to start signing with teams as of Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Guerrieri is a 24-year-old from Georgia who was taken with the 24th pick of the 2011 Draft. Prior to 2013, he was ranked as the No. 44 prospect in baseball by, but a series of injuries and a suspension for recreational drug use stalled his development in the Minors.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound starter missed almost the entire 2017 season following Tommy John surgery. In '16, he went 12-6 with a 3.76 ERA over 28 appearances, 26 starts, for Double-A Montgomery. Guerrieri has an option remaining on his contract and is an option to start the year with Triple-A Buffalo to bolster Toronto's depth in the rotation.

Lopez, Santos, Cole and Campos all spent time with the Blue Jays in 2017. Lopez appeared in 24 games while filling in for the injured and hit .222 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. He became expendanable with the continued presence of backup and the possible need to protect prospects Danny Jansen, and Max Pentecost from the Rule 5 Draft.

Santos joined the Blue Jays in September and seemed like a possible candidate for a long-reliever job in 2018. He posted a 2.70 ERA over 10 appearances out of the bullpen for Toronto, but prior to that he posted just a 4.07 ERA in 24 games for Buffalo. Campos and Cole each had brief stints out of the bullpen this year, but their departures from the 40-man roster do not come as a surprise.