With the World Series now over, MLB front offices start to work on getting ready for 2018. Players can declare free agency today. Teams have five days to clean up their 60 day DL and to issue qualifying offers to their free agents.
The winter meetings will be held from December 10 to 14 in Orlando. Teams have until November 20th to set their rosters for the rule 5 drafts. If a team wants to bring back a player on their 40 man roster they have to offer him a contract by December 1.
The Jays started their shuffling yesterday by taking three players off their 60 day DL and off the 40 man roster. Bo Schultz, Darrell Ceciliani and Cesar Valdez could all stay with the Jays if they and the team agree to it or if they are not claimed by another team.
The Jays have accumulated a lot of talent in the minor leagues over the last few seasons. Many of those players now need to be added to the 40 man roster or the Jays could lose them. The Jays will also have to remove players from the 40 man to make room. In the last few years the Jays have signed some solid AAAA minor league free agents, usually pitchers, to play in Buffalo and get a chance in Toronto when someone gets injured. Giving these minor league free agents a place on the 40 man roster has a cash advantage to the player and makes it more likely they get called up. The Jays will have difficulty offering 40 man roster free agent contracts this winter and may have to move one rung down in player caliber to fill open slots in Buffalo. On the other hand, the Jays have pitchers in New Hampshire who should move up to Buffalo to play there as prospects.
Shi Davidi has a primer on the off-season at Sportsnet. He suggests the Jays will have between $13M and $25M to spend this off-season. The Jays have had the front-office meetings this week to solidify plans and they have emerged with a long list of potential signings and trades at every position, per Ross Atkins. Davidi notes that if the Jays are to trade players it will likely be from their bullpen where they have some excess.
Be ready for more moves over the next few weeks.