Blue Jays drop Travis, Tepera from 40-man roster

As part of the minor roster maneuvers that occur in the early stages of the baseball off-season, Monday was the deadline for major league teams to reinstate players from the 60-day injured list.

For those uninformed about the machinations of MLB roster rules, placing a player on the 60-day list allows a team to free up a spot on the 40-man roster that is available to play in the major leagues. Thus, having to take players off the 60-day list means having to move them back to the 40-man. Most teams do their best to keep the 40-man roster at or close to the limit, meaning Monday caused a logjam at the bottom of rosters league-wide.

The Toronto Blue Jays, for example, came into Monday with 42 players occupying 40-man spots when accounting for the five players — Ryan Borucki, Tim Mayza, Matt Shoemaker, Devon Travis, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. — on the 60-day injured list. Some basic arithmetic tells you that two members of the team were out of room to hold down a spot.

Devon Travis's days with the Blue Jays may be over. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, the team picked a pair of veteran pieces to be dropped from the roster. Reliever Ryan Tepera was designated for assignment — meaning the team has seven days to trade, release or outright him to Triple-A — while the oft-injured Travis was assigned outright to Triple-A, a move he can accept or elect free agency. Both players were arbitration-eligible this off-season, with Tepera earning $1.525M last season, while Travis brought home $1.95M.

Tepera spent most of the 2019 season rehabbing from injury, appearing in just 23 games with a rocky 4.98 ERA. Over parts of five years with the Blue Jays, he held a respectable 3.64 ERA, leading the team in appearances out of the bullpen in 2017.

Travis has been struck with a series of injuries dating back through 2016, and played a career-high 103 games in 2018. The 28-year-old did not play in any games last season. Over parts of four injury-riddled seasons with the club, the infielder posted a .274/.314/.381 line, good for an almost exactly league average 101 OPS+.

Additional room was made on the roster as lefty reliever Buddy Boshers, and right-handers Brock Stewart and Ryan Dull were also outrighted to Triple-A. Boshers has already elected to enter free agency.

The next roster-churning date for your MLB transaction calendar is the non-tender deadline on Dec. 2. Teams must offer players with renewable contracts a new deal by then or they become free agents.

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