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Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays shuffle roster ahead of Rule 5 draft

The Blue Jays continued to rejig their 40-man roster with a handful of moves on Friday afternoon, reinstating a pair of infielders and clearing five relievers.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and third baseman Brandon Drury, who both finished the season on the sidelines after playing combined eight games for the Jays, were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list, per Major League Baseball rules.

Righthanders Jake Petricka, Taylor Guerrieri and Rhiner Cruz all hit free agency after clearing waivers, while fellow righty Justin Shafer was outrighted off the 40-man to the Triple A-Buffalo Bisons.

Toronto also said goodbye to lefthander Jose Fernandez, who was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Tigers.

The Blue Jays began the day with 38 players on their 40-man roster and three on the 60-day disabled list: Tulowitzki (heel), Drury (hand) and Cruz (groin). They finished the day with 36 names on the roster, leaving the team some wiggle room ahead of the deadline for adding Rule 5-eligible players on Nov. 20.

Toronto’s minor-league system includes a number of young prospects who will need to be protected from that draft, which will take place on Dec. 13. That list includes Toronto’s No. 11 prospect, righthander Hector Perez, its No. 27 prospect, righthander Jordan Romano, and catcher Max Pentecost, among others.

It was Petricka who logged the most time on the mound of that group for the Jays this past season, making 41 appearances out of the bullpen with a 4.53 ERA. The other four arms combined for 30 outings in relief.

Earlier this week, Toronto picked up the $8-million team option on veteran first baseman Justin Smoak’s contract, while declining the 2019 option on third baseman Yangervis Solarte’s deal. The move did not make Solarte a free agent; he is arbitration eligible and remains on Toronto’s 40-man roster.

Relievers Brandon Cumpton, Preston Guilmet and Luis Santos, who pitched a combined 29 2/3 innings for the Jays this season but finished the year in the minor leagues, all elected free agency earlier this week as well.

Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy

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