The Blue Jays have made several 40-man roster moves, including designating right-hander Justin Shafer for assignment and outrighting left-hander Tim Mayza to Triple-A Buffalo, the team announced. The club has also added infielder Santiago Espinal and righty Tom Hatch to its 40-man, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet first reported.
The 27-year-old Shafer has been a member of the Toronto organization since it used an eighth-round pick on him in 2014. Shafer has produced good results at the major league level since then, evidenced by his 3.75 ERA over 48 innings, though a subpar 1.28 K/BB had helped lead to a 5.52 FIP/6.00 xFIP in the bigs.
Booting Mayza from the 40-man may be the most notable move here, as the 27-year-old was a major part of the Blue Jays’ bullpen in 2019. A 12th-rounder of the Jays in 2013, Mayza amassed 51 1/3 innings in 2019 – the fourth-highest total among the team’s relievers – with a 4.91 ERA/4.73 FIP and 9.64 K/9 against 4.73 BB/9 before suffering a gruesome, season-ending arm injury in the first half of September. Mayza will miss all of 2020 as a result, so it’s no surprise Toronto doesn’t want to dedicate a 40-man spot to him next year.
The 25-year-old Espinal joined the Blue Jays in June 2018 in their return from Boston for infielder Steve Pearce, who went on to win World Series MVP honors that year. Espinal was a 10th-rounder of the Red Sox in 2016 who got to the Triple-A level for the first time in 2019 and batted .317/.360/.433 in 112 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Hatch – also 25 – went to Toronto in its deal with the Cubs for reliever David Phelps last July. He currently ranks as the Jays’ 30th-best prospect at MLB.com, having thrown 135 1/3 innings of 4.12 ERA ball with 8.4 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 at the Double-A level between the two organizations in 2019.