1:11pm: The Royals and Blue Jays have now both announced the move.
Kansas City never formally designated Dyson for assignment, but it’s not uncommon for clubs to quietly place a player on waivers without first announcing a DFA. The Blue Jays, by claiming Dyson, are now on the hook for the remainder of his $1.5MM salary — about $306K between now and season’s end.
Dyson, 37, returned for a second stint with the Royals this offseason when he inked a one-year, $1.5MM contract in free agency. He’s appeared in 77 games but tallied just 132 plate appearances, instead being utilized more for his blistering speed and defensive acumen late in games. Dyson carries a .221/.256/.311 batting line in that time. He hasn’t homered in 2021 but has doubled seven times, tripled twice and gone 8-for-11 in stolen base attempts this year.
The Royals likely didn’t find much interest in Dyson at the trade deadline, but he’ll only cost the Jays cash and a roster spot at this point. He’ll give the team some needed depth in center field with George Springer again on the shelf, and he’ll also provide Toronto with a dynamic late-game defensive replacement and pinch-running option as they try to close a deficit of five and a half games in the hunt for the second Wild Card spot.
The Royals will save a but of cash by placing him on waivers, but the move is surely more about giving a veteran player the organization respects an opportunity to return to the postseason. By waiting until late in the month of August to place Dyson on waivers, the Royals ensured that the cost of acquiring him was quite minimal, thereby enhancing the chances he’d be claimed. Because he’s joining the Jays organization prior to Sept. 1, Dyson would be eligible for their postseason roster, should Toronto manage to close that considerable gap in the standings.