The Blue Jays announced that they have claimed outfielder Jordan Luplow off waivers from the Braves and optioned him to Triple-A. Luplow had been designated for assignment by Atlanta earlier this week when that club selected rookie pitcher Dylan Dodd. In a corresponding move, the Jays transferred lefty Hyun Jin Ryu to the 60-day injured list.
Luplow, 29, has appeared in the past six major league seasons, suiting up for Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Arizona. He’s largely taken on part-time duties, as his 85 games and 261 plate appearances in 2019 are both career highs. The right-handed hitter is generally viewed as a short-side platoon option, often putting up good numbers against lefties. His career batting line against southpaws is .226/.337/.505 for a wRC+ of 125, compared to a .200/.288/.355 line and 76 wRC+ against righties.
Last year, Luplow didn’t hit well against pitchers from either side, slashing .176/.274/.361 for the Diamondbacks. They could have retained him via arbitration, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projecting a $2MM salary, though the D’Backs opted to cut him from the roster at the end of the season instead. Atlanta picked him by signing him to a slightly lower price point of $1.4MM, but he didn’t make the club’s Opening Day roster. They had picked up a few other candidates for part-time outfield roles, such as Sam Hilliard, Kevin Pillar and Eli White. That nudged Luplow to the minors to start the season and off the 40-man shortly thereafter.
For the Jays, they previously had a righty-heavy outfield but tipped the scales the other way this offseason. Righties Teoscar Hernández and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. were both traded away while lefties Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier were brought aboard and Nathan Lukes won the bench outfield job out of camp. Luplow will head to Triple-A Buffalo for now but he could potentially be recalled at some point to play matchups and take some at-bats against tough lefties.
He currently has between four and five years of MLB service time, meaning the Jays could retain him for next season via arbitration if he lasts the whole year on the roster. He has just one option year remaining, however, meaning he will likely be out of options next year. Once he spends 20 days in the minors, then 2023 will officially burn his last option year.
As for Ryu, this transfer comes as no surprise as he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery and is targeting a return around the All-Star break. This move was an inevitable formality, with the Jays waiting until they found a player they liked on the waiver wire to make it.
Braves just saved a million bucks! Thank you Blue Jays!
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Bummer for Luplow. I hope Eli White gets a shot sometime this season with the Braves, I liked the way he looked at ST this year. Also not a fan of Ozuna.
Unless an injury to an OF happens…Hilliard and white are essentially the same type of player. White has a little more speed and team options…
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
I liked them both in ST. I’d rather see a Hilliard/White leftfield tandem than Rosario/Ozuna. The ladder being huge disappointments, although Rosario had 2 hits last night, we’ll see.
Combined they had 4 hrs & 17 RBIs in ST. Just my opinion.
He should never have given extensions to those ladders..
Braves are looking splendid indeed, sitting in the cat-bird seat. That division may not be quite the barn-burner it has been of late. Braves may coast on top till the playoffs. Especially the way the Mets are looking, which is atrocious, in a dumpster quagmire sort of crapfest kinda way. But oh yeah, only 6 games nvm.
Braves front office has to be doing backflips over this claim. Did the current Toronto front office draft this player as amateur?
He’s been around a long time with sporadic playing time. I’m surprised he has an option remaining. This is a sensible pickup for a team that could have pinch hit or weak side of the platoon at bats available for a right handed outfielder. I wonder if they’ll keep him in reserve at AAA or bring him up shortly. He’d be more likely to get plate appearances than Lukes but I don’t know if they really need that more than a pinch runner at the moment.
Ya, Lukes is basically the designated pinch runner for Belt and Kirk. Hard to see him getting any playing time in the OF the way it’s constructed now.
Minor league fodder. This move Won’t move the needle on any championship goals. Seems like a waste of time and in the end it probably will be. The Jays still have the same issue that they have had for all the years of Shapiro and Atkins. Despite them “trying hard”, the rotation still sucks.
The BlueJays still need to hire more capable professional scouts.
Blue Jays find outfield depth in Jordan !!
Luplow will probably be up soon as the Jays could probably use another RH Outfielder
Lefty masher off the bench will eventually be needed. Not a bad pickup for depth at the moment
Yep, just costs an open roster spot.
Jimmer using his advanced scouting skills would have brought in Aaron Judge, but this will do for the moment.
Jimmer should be laying low after his embarrassing bad scouting report on Bo Bichette. Weak wrists???
They had a chance with Grossman. He would have been a great fit. Maybe the trade deadline.
I was hoping for Grossman as well but I think they really want to put a strong emphasis on fundamentals and defense this year and he just can’t cut it defensively.
He hasn’t hit lefties much for two years, in the majors or the minors.
Is this one of those situation where the Braves are still on the hook for league min
@braves fan. Nope they claimed him off waivers. Blue Jays just took his whole salary. Granted it’s not much but a extra million at the trade deadline might help.
From 2019 to 2022, 3600+ innings:
-2 DRS, -⁰.2 UZR/150, and 2 OAA
Biggio 383 innings: -2 DRS, -14.6 UZR/150 and -2 OAA
Merrifield ~1600 innings, -2 DRS, -3.5 UZR/150, and 3 OAA.
Looks like he would would do just fine defensively compared to Merrifield and Biggio.