The Blue Jays have designated right-hander Esmil Rogers for assignment, manager John Gibbons announced in a radio appearance on The Fan 590 (via Sportsnet’s Jeff Simmons on Twitter). The move clears room on the 40-man roster for tonight’s starter, Liam Hendriks, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Buffalo.
The DFA brings to end a tenure that will leave Toronto fans wondering what might’ve been. The Blue Jays’ acquisition of Rogers is directly tied to the compensation they received for allowing John Farrell to return to Boston; Toronto acquired Mike Aviles as compensation for Farrell and right-hander David Carpenter (who has emerged as a bullpen ace with the Braves). Before Aviles ever played a game in Toronto, he was flipped to the Indians along with Yan Gomes in exchange for Rogers.
Rogers has gone on to total a 5.06 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 158 1/3 innings with the Jays. He’s been hurt by a bloated homer-to-flyball ratio that is outlandish enough for sabermetric ERA estimator xFIP to project an ERA just over 4.00 based on his work with the Blue Jays, but the results didn’t line up with that favorable projection in either of his two seasons north of the border.
Gomes, meanwhile, has emerged as a breakout catching star for the Indians, having slashed .289/.340/.479 with 17 homers in 477 PA for Cleveland. Gomes has gunned down 38 percent of opposing base stealers while with the Indians — good for 12 percent above the league average — and he’s also regarded as one of the game’s best pitch-framers behind the plate. His contributions to this point have been worth 4.8 WAR (per Fangraphs), and he’s been impressive enough to have earned a six-year, $23MM extension, supplanting Carlos Santana as the team’s everyday catcher.
The 25-year-old Hendriks has excelled in 48 2/3 innings for Buffalo this season, pitching to a sparkling 1.48 ERA with a 36-to-3 K/BB ratio. The former Twins hurler hasn’t had much success in the big leagues to date, however, as he’s been incredibly homer-prone.