The Blue Jays have designated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for assignment, per the organization (h/t Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, via Twitter). The roster spot was needed for righty Seung-hwan Oh, whose signing is now official.
With Curtis Granderson and Randal Grichuk entering the Jays’ outfield mix this winter, Carrera lacked a clear path to a significant role. Though it seemed possible he might sneak in as a fifth outfielder, particularly since Granderson is the only Toronto outfielder who hits from the left side, that would have meant squeezing the infield or pitching depth. Clearly, that’s not the direction the Jays front office decided to go.
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Carrera, 30, turned in a useful season at the plate in 2017. Over 325 plate appearances, he slashed .282/.356/.408 with eight home runs and ten steals. That said, the outfielder’s lifetime offensive output (89 wRC+) is not quite as impressive and he needed a .358 batting average on balls in play to post his personal-best slash. While metrics soured on his glovework last year, Carrera has graded as an above-average corner outfielder in the past and has spent plenty of time in center.
It’s hardly an exciting profile, but Carrera could conceivably draw interest. He’s slated to earn a not-insignificant $1.9MM this year via arbitration, though, so interested teams may prefer to pursue him as a free agent than claim him or trade for him. Unless another organization takes over the contract, the Blue Jays will owe Carrera thirty days of pay (just over $300K).