The Blue Jays announced via press release that the team has outrighted struggling pitcher Ricky Romero off of the club's 40-man roster. The move was made to open a roster spot for righty Ramon Ortiz. Romero will continue to pitch in Triple-A, having already been optioned to the minors.
Notably, as Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tweets, Romero had to pass through waivers before he could be outrighted. That means that every MLB club passed on the chance to take on Romero's contract. The former Opening Day starter is in the midst of what seemed to be a team-friendly five-year, $30.1MM extension (which included a 2016 club option at $13.1MM) that he inked in August of 2011.
Looking back one year after that deal was signed, both team and player seemed happy. Now, however, Romero's well-documented struggles make the remainder of the contract look like an unwelcome burden to the Jays. After an abysmal 2012 season and poor spring saw Romero begin the year in the low minors, he was called up for two ill-fated big league starts. The former staff ace allowed five walks, seven hits, and six earned runs over just 4 1/3 innings in those outings, and has continued to struggle since being demoted to Triple-A. With Romero no longer clogging up a roster spot, the team will have little incentive but to remain patient and allow him to try and work his way back to form.