Blue Jays’ Minor Leaguers Declare Free Agency

Ryan Lavarnway
Ryan Lavarnway

The blogs are all abuzz about the major league free agents like Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista but on Monday, minor leaguers were eligible to file for free agency and here’s the list of players in the Blue Jays’ system who did so.


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Buffalo Bisons


David Adams
Dustin Antolin
Jason Berken
Domonic Brown
Alexi Casilla
Wilkin Castillo
Scott Copeland
Matt Dominguez
Luis Hurtado
Bobby Korecky
Casey Kotchman
Erik Kratz
Junior Lake
Casey Lawrence
Melky Mesa
Jio Mier
Jesus Montero
Murphy Smith


It would be a shorter blog if I wrote about who was left on the Buffalo Bisons rather than who was electing free agency. All the catchers are involved in one transaction or another (with A.J. Jimenez getting put on the Jays’ 40-man roster) while most of the infield and outfield are electing free agency.

The Blue Jays have done a lot of building the Bisons’ through free agency since they joined the organization and so this is not a particularly unusual turn of events. Antolin and Lawrence are homegrown Blue Jays and this is each of their first real shot at free agency (I consider Lawrence’s original free agent stint after not being drafted to be very different in character). Murphy Smith has resurrected his career with the Blue Jays and could very well re-sign.

However, with most of the rest of them, it’s difficult for me to project them coming back to Toronto. Most had lacklustre seasons in Triple-A and there are only a couple of players (like Scott Copeland and Matt Dominguez) who are still in a position to get a real shot at a major league job next year.



New Hampshire Fisher Cats


John Anderson
Wilmer Font
Ryan Lavarnway
John Straka


Three of these four players were signed over the past year and are electing free agency. Lavarnway had a very good year with New Hampshire (and Israel’s WBC-qualifying team) while Font alto pitched well in eight starts with New Hampshire. Straka was brought in at the end of the season after having pitched in independent leagues and only made five appearances. Anderson is the only home-grown Jay in the bunch. Will he re-sign? Only the winter will tell.


Dunedin Blue Jays


Andy Fermin
Dickie Joe Thon


Both of these two players were drafted by the Jays and both have big league bloodlines. Fermin (son of Felix) had a season in which he didn’t play very much and Thon (son of Dickie Thon) played well but has only reached Advanced-A for the Blue Jays after a slow start to his career.


Lansing Lugnuts


Gustavo Pierre


After his conversion to pitching, Pierre has decided to become a free agent. Pierre only made eight appearances this year, allowing 13 runs. There may yet be a lot of interest in the hard thrower, but he’s many years behind the curve thanks to his seven years trying to rise through the ranks as an infielder.


GCL Blue Jays


Gregor Mora


The Blue Jays acquired Gregor Mora, 21, by signing him after he was released by the Dodgers’ organization and pitched in three games for the GCL Blue Jays.


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