10:25am: Espinosa exercised an opt-out clause in his contract with the Jays, tweets Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
8:25am: Veteran infielder Danny Espinosa has been released by the Blue Jays organization, per an announcement from Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.
The 31-year-old Espinosa opened the 2017 season at the big league level with the Angels but has since bounced to four other organizations in that time. He saw brief stints in the Majors with both the Mariners and Rays (eight games apiece) before season’s end in 2017, and he was with the Yankees in Spring Training before being granted his release and latching on with the Jays on a minor league pact.
Espinosa has had a rough start to the Triple-A season with the Bisons, hitting .232/.271/.286 with 15 strikeouts against three walks in 60 trips to the plate. That inauspicious slash comes on the heels of a combined .197/.286/.344 batting line in 896 plate appearances at the big league level across the 2016-17 seasons.
Though the past couple years have been a struggle at the plate for the switch-hitter, he’s long carried a strong defensive reputation and is capable of playing both middle-infield spots. He’s also just a season removed from slugging 24 homers for the Nationals in 2016, indicating that there’s still some pop in his bat.
Toronto’s offseason pickups of Yangervis Solarte, Aledmys Diaz and Gift Ngoepe created plenty of middle-infield competition within the organization, and the promotion of international signee Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the Majors only further impeded Espinosa’s path to a potential roster spot. He’ll now look to latch on with what will somewhat remarkably be his sixth organization of the past calendar year — presumably one with lesser middle-infield depth than the Jays have at present.