Blue Jays release Mark Teahen, eat $5.5 million salary

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UPDATE: As expected, Teahen and his $5.5 million contract passed through waivers unclaimed and today the Blue Jays released him. They’re on the hook for his entire salary.

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Toronto needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for newly signed reliever Darren Oliver and did so by designating Mark Teahen for assignment.

Teahen went from the White Sox to the Blue Jays in the eight-player swap built around Colby Rasmus and Edwin Jackson in July, with Toronto agreeing to assume the $7 million or so left on his contract as part of the value received by Chicago.

He’s still owed $5.5 million this season and Teahen is coming off a career-worst year in which he hit .200 with a .573 OPS in 78 games, so it’s pretty safe to assume his contract will clear waivers.

A couple of former major leaguers choose to stay in Asia

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Two guys who spent some time in the bigs but who have found more success in Asia have decided to stay in Asia.

Darin Ruf has re-signed with the Samsung Lions of KBO, per MLB Trade Rumors. Ruf, who played five years for the Phillies but didn’t really have the numbers to stick, has stuck just fine in Korea. In two seasons in the offense-friendly league he has hit 64 homers and has put up a line of .322/.412/.587. His new deal with Samsung will pay him a guaranteed $1.4 million with $300K in potential bonuses.

The other guy — Nick Martinez — has signed a $2.5 million plus incentives deal to stay with the Nippon Ham Fighters of NPB. The former Rangers starter went 10-11 with a 3.51 ERA for the Fighters in 2018. He was 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA in four seasons with Texas.

Maybe Ruf and Martinez still have U.S. major league dreams, but guaranteed bucks in the Korean and Japanese majors is better than signing minor league deals and riding busses here.