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2019 will be make or break for Devon Travis

Devon Travis was tendered a contract for the 2019 season, but there is every possibility it will be his final year with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The biggest news from Friday for the Toronto Blue Jays, was their decision to non-tender Yangervis Solarte. All remaining players on the 40-man roster were tendered contracts for next year.

Among those players, however, there is particular interest in Devon Travis. More specifically, what does the future hold for him?

On the one hand, it would have been quite a surprise if the Blue Jays had decided to non-tender him. On the other hand, you can make the argument that 2019 will be make or break for him in Toronto.

This declaration has nothing to do with the 27-year-old’s talent, which is undeniable. It is why the Blue Jays originally traded for a player who, in 2015, was called the sixth best second base prospect in baseball.

And sure enough Travis made an immediate impression, blasting a home run on his Major League debut on opening day in 2015. By the end of April, he had been named American League Rookie of the Month.

The future looked so promising. Unfortunately, winning the rookie award all but coincided with what was going to become the biggest challenge to the young talent’s career: injury.

Travis was placed on the disabled list, due to a left shoulder injury. And it hasn’t stopped there.

During his four years in the Majors, the 2012 13th round draft pick has contended with a number of injury issues. The end result is that he has missed 332 of a possible 648 regular season games, i.e. more than 50 percent (51.2).

Every time you think Travis is ready to take his game to the next level, he suffers another injury setback. There are genuine concerns that he is just one of those professional athletes who is injury prone.

This is not to be perceived as a criticism however; some players just can’t help getting injured. Regardless, if it continues, it will compromise Travis’ ability to fully reach his true potential.

With questions about his future, the irony is the 2018 season represented Travis’ most healthy season yet. At least in terms of games played (103).

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However, the West Palm Beach, Florida native also produced the worst slash line of his four-year career, at .232/.275/.381. In fact, this has decreased every season he has been in his majors, after hitting .304/.361/.498 in his rookie campaign.

In addition, certain analysts started to criticise Travis’ defence for the first time. All factors combined, you can now appreciate that he is headed towards a crucial point in his career.

As things stand, Travis does not become a free agent until 2021. However, if his performances and durability don’t improve soon, the Blue Jays will likely cut ties earlier.

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What’s your prediction for how matters will play out for Travis in 2019? Will it be his last year with  the Toronto Blue Jays, or do you see him remaining with the team past next season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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