Blue Jays claim Hendriks for pitching depth
Right-hander likely to open year in Triple-A; Morel bumped from roster
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays added some more organizational depth to their pitching staff by claiming right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Orioles on Friday afternoon.
Hendriks, 25, spent last season with the Twins and posted a 1-3 record with a 6.85 ERA in 10 appearances, including eight starts. He owns a career 2-13 record with a 6.06 ERA over three seasons in the big leagues.
Hendriks likely won't contend for a spot on the 25-man roster, considering the Blue Jays already have tough decisions to make with their starting rotation and bullpen. The more realistic scenario would see Hendriks open the year with Triple-A Buffalo.
The native of Australia has one Minor League option remaining on his contract. He was designated for assignment by Minnesota during the offseason and suffered a similar fate earlier this week when the Orioles officially signed right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year contract.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Hendriks, the Blue Jays designated infielder Brent Morel for assignment. The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering Morel was mentioned as a possible candidate to compete for the final spot on Toronto's bench.
Morel was a bit of a long shot for that role, but he has the ability to play third base and was going to see some time at second this spring. Morel spent most of last season with Triple-A Charlotte of the White Sox organization, and he hit .266 with 39 extra-base hits and a .751 OPS.
The 26-year-old has appeared in 194 Major League games over four seasons, recording 13 home runs and 54 RBIs. Morel could remain with the Blue Jays organization, but he must first clear waivers.
Outfielder Moises Sierra, who is out of options, remains the early favorite for the final spot on the bench. The club's decision later this spring, though, will hinge on whether it carries seven or eight relievers to start the regular season.