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Toronto loses Fernandez to Tigers; 3 become FAs

November 2, 2018

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays lost left-hander Jose Fernandez to the Tigers and made a slew of transactions in advance of Friday's deadline to finalize the 40-man roster.Right-handers Jake Petricka, Rhiner Cruz and Christopher Guerrieri cleared waivers and were granted free agency. Right-hander Justin Shafer also cleared waivers and was

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays lost left-hander Jose Fernandez to the Tigers and made a slew of transactions in advance of Friday's deadline to finalize the 40-man roster.
Right-handers Jake Petricka, Rhiner Cruz and Christopher Guerrieri cleared waivers and were granted free agency. Right-hander Justin Shafer also cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo, but he no longer is on Toronto's 40-man roster.
The final bit of housekeeping involved removing infielders Troy Tulowitzki and Brandon Drury from the 60-day disabled list and placing them back on the 40-man roster. The moves leave the Blue Jays with four open roster spots but additional room likely will be needed in the coming weeks for free agency and the Rule 5 Draft.
The Blue Jays have until 8 p.m. ET on Nov. 20 to protect Rule 5-eligible players by placing them on the 40-man roster. Players not on the 40-man roster with at least four to five years of experience in the Minors depending on their age at signing are eligible to be selected at the upcoming draft, which will take place at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.
Toronto has benefited from this system in the past by taking right-hander Joe Biagini away from the Giants, but the club is at risk of losing a valuable commodity this time around. More spots will be created but not enough to cover a group of candidates such as these: right-handed pitchers Hector Perez, Patrick Murphy, Jon Harris, Yennsy Diaz, Jordan Romano and Jacob Waguespack, and outfielders Forrest Wall and Harold Ramirez.
Yangervis Solarte, whose $5.5 million club option was declined earlier this week, remains a non-tender candidate and is unlikely to return to Toronto. The Blue Jays could create additional space by parting ways with former top prospect Dalton Pompey, who has only received sporadic opportunities in the big leagues over the last several years. That's another two spots, so while the Blue Jays have a roster crunch, they also have a lot of flexibility.
Fernandez was claimed off waivers by Detroit. The 25-year-old made his Major League debut earlier this year as a September callup and posted a 6.10 ERA over 13 appearances. He struggled with his control at times but possesses a promising arm and has a chance to become a left-handed setup man.

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