DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It took a little bit longer than initially expected, but the Blue Jays appear to have completed their offseason shopping.Toronto general manager Ross Atkins completed his to-do list earlier this week by signing veteran right-hander Seunghwan Oh to a one-year deal. Upgrading the bullpen was the Blue
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It took a little bit longer than initially expected, but the Blue Jays appear to have completed their offseason shopping.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins completed his to-do list earlier this week by signing veteran right-hander Seunghwan Oh to a one-year deal. Upgrading the bullpen was the Blue Jays' final priority after previously addressing the outfield, starting rotation and utility infield spots.
The Blue Jays aren't closed for business, and there's always a chance for some minor tinkering, but the heavy lifting is over for now. Toronto will head into the regular season with a 25-man roster that is mostly set, barring injuries and a couple of competitions in the bullpen.
"I think there's still a chance for us to add, and we'll stay open minded, but for it to be significant it would have to be via trade," Atkins said. "At the same time I think we could complement our 'pen. If there's an upgrade at some position, it's getting harder and harder to do. I do feel good about this being a good starting point."
Toronto is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 season that was derailed by injuries, and saw the club finish 10 games below .500. Some changes were expected during the offseason but instead of altering the core of his roster, Atkins built around it by focusing on depth and adding complementary pieces.
LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Dominic Leone, C Miguel Montero, OF Jose Bautista and the infield duo of Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins are out. OF Randal Grichuk, OF Curtis Granderson, INF Yangervis Solarte, INF Aledmys Diaz, veteran starter Jaime Garcia and Oh are in. Now the Blue Jays can only hope the moves are enough to make another successful run before the likes of Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada hit free agency.
According to Cot's Baseball contracts, Toronto's projected payroll for 2018 currently sits at slightly under $160 million, but that does not include incentives or buyouts for club options throughout the entirety of the season. Last year, the Blue Jays' payroll was closer to $165 million, and it is believed the ballclub would like to operate at a figure in that range, which should leave it with at least a few million to spend if a trade presents itself during the year.
"We've got our guys, our returners here, we know what they can do and they've been very good for us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Then you bring in a guy like Oh for a reason. He has had some success in certain roles so he is just going to add to that. It gives us a little more depth down there too, so you don't have to [ruin] somebody."
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
One minor move the Blue Jays could make in the coming days involves Ezequiel Carrera. The veteran outfielder was designated for assignment earlier this week to make room on the 40-man roster for Oh. Carrera was DFA'd on Monday, and from that day the Blue Jays have 10 days to make a trade, release the player or outright him off the roster.
The Blue Jays won't net much of a return for Carrera, but they'll look to facilitate his departure to an organization where he might have a chance to play. Carrera became disposable because of a crowded outfield, not just in Toronto, but also in the high levels of the Minor League system.
"He has done great things for us, and we'll do anything we can to help him moving forward," Atkins said. "I think the way our roster was constructed, with the addition of Grichuk, with the addition of Granderson, having [Steve] Pearce and [Kevin Pillar] here.
"It was going to be a tough fit. Likely going to carry a couple of infielders, and then with seven relievers we were having some redundancy there. I think the depth of our Triple-A outfield, Double-A outfield for that matter, really brought us to that decision."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays
for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his