MARCH 11: The Blue Jays have now elected to release Carrera, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (Twitter link).
MARCH 1: The Blue Jays announced that outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has been outrighted after clearing waivers. He had recently been designated for assignment but will now return to camp as a non-roster invitee. That’s the best possible result for Toronto, which had to expose Carrera to the waiver wire in order to add reliever Seung-hwan Oh.
It appears that Carrera has accepted his assignment, as he would have had the right to opt instead for free agency. The fact that the remainder of the league passed on claiming him isn’t promising, though that would’ve meant stepping into a $1.9MM arbitration salary.
It is not immediately clear whether Carrera is still playing pursuant to that arb agreement, or whether instead the team now controls him on alternative terms such that he’d earn at a different rate if he stays with the club into the start of the season. Regardless, the Jays will owe Carrera at least thirty days’ worth of termination pay (just over $300K).
The Jays are obviously fond of the 30-year-old, who has appeared in 332 games with the organization over the past three seasons. He has never been better than 2017, when he turned in a healthy .282/.356/.408 batting line in 325 trips to the plate while also adding eight homers and swiped ten bags.
Still, later developments in the offseason evidently led the club to go in a different direction. The signing of Curtis Granderson — the only other left-handed-hitting outfielder who seems likely to be in the mix in the early portion of the season — certainly didn’t help Carrera’s cause. And the acquisition of Randal Grichuk likely took away the possibility of a strict platoon scenario. With the switch-hitting Dalton Pompey and lefty-swinging Dwight Smith Jr. also in the mix, the Jays obviously felt they did not need to keep another southpaw bat on the 40-man roster.