When it comes to demoting players to Triple-A sometimes having a minor-league option remaining takes precedence over everything else and Casey Janssen learned that the hard way today, as the Blue Jays sent him to Las Vegas to make room on the roster for Octavio Dotel’s return from the disabled list.
Janssen certainly isn’t deserving of the demotion, as he’s a 29-year-old veteran who posted a 3.67 ERA and 63/21 K/BB ratio in 69 innings last season and has a career ERA of 3.10 in 146 relief outings.
However, with Dotel recovered from his hamstring injury Janssen finds himself the odd man out in Toronto’s deep, veteran-filled bullpen. He’ll be back soon enough, but it’s no doubt a frustrating situation for a setup-caliber reliever earning $1.1 million. He has no business being in the minors at age 29.
A wise man once said that a wise mad said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The White Sox are not prepared to miss their shot: Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says they are “actively trying” to trade Avisail Garcia.
Which seems like a super difficult shot given that (a) Garcia had knee and hamstring injuries this past season; (b) hit just .236/.281/.438 when he did play; and (c) is arbitration eligible and stands to make more than the $6.7 million salary he made in 2018. You put those things together and you have a guy that the Sox are almost 100% going to non-tender rather than take to arbitration, thereby making him freely and cheaply available to anyone who wants him as long as they can wait until November 30, which is the tender/non-tender deadline.
Garcia, who somehow is still just 27 years-old, is one year removed from what many considered a breakout year, in which he hit .330/.380/.506 in 136 games, but I don’t think anyone is going to bite at him in a trade. Assuming he’s in decent shape and recovered from injuries, however, he could be a useful player in 2019.