Blue Jays Designate Cavan Biggio For Assignment

The Blue Jays announced that they have recalled infielder Spencer Horwitz, with infielder/outfielder Cavan Biggio designated for assignment in a corresponding move. Their 40-man roster count drops to 39. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet relayed on X earlier that Horwitz was joining the club.

Biggio, 29, has been in a multi-positional role for the Jays for a while. He showed a keen eye at the plate when he first arrived in the big leagues but it seems that pitchers realized he wasn’t likely to do much damage if they threw him more strikes. He drew a walk in 16.5% of his plate appearances in his rookie season in 2019 but that number has dropped year over year. It was 15.5% in 2020 and then went to 12.6%, 12.5% and 11.8% in the years after that.

Here in 2024, Biggio has only walked at a 10.7% clip. That is still above league average, which is 8.3% so far this season, but a huge drop from where he started. Strikeouts have also become a growing problem for him over the years. In 2021, he was punched out at a roughly league average rate of 23% but that ticked up into the high 20s in subsequent campaigns and is currently at a 32.1% clip here this year.

Thanks to his on-base abilities, Biggio was able to hit .240/.368/.430 over the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He hit 16 home runs in the first of those seasons but that is now considered by many to be a “juiced ball” season where home runs reached unprecedented levels. That production still translated to a wRC+ of 118 but he’s hit just .219/.327/.351 since then for a 94 wRC+, which includes a line of .200/.323/.291 and 88 wRC+ here in 2024.

Defensively, Biggio has never received especially strong grades anywhere on the diamond but has at least provided the Jays with plenty of versatility. That includes one inning at shortstop but plenty of time at the other three infield positions and in the outfield as well.

As Biggio’s results have declined over the years, other players have slid into his multi-positional role. Davis Schneider is splitting his time between second base and left field and has hit .254/.364/.505 since his call-up last year for a 145 wRC+. The Jays signed Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the offseason and he is hitting around league average with strong defense at various infield positions. Ernie Clement isn’t hitting much but gets stronger grades for his glovework than Biggio.

On top of those three, there’s also the aforementioned Horwitz. He has been hitting very well in Triple-A this year, walking in 17% of his plate appearances and producing a line of .335/.456/.514 for a 157 wRC+. He has primarily played first base but the Jays recently started getting him some work at second base in order to help him coexist with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who plays first most days. The Jays have also experimented with Guerrero playing some third base of late but also have Justin Turner and Daniel Vogelbach in the first base/designated hitter rotation.

Amid all of that, it seems Biggio has been nudged off the roster for being sort of in between. He doesn’t have as much offensive potential as guys like Schneider, Turner, Vogelbach and perhaps Horwitz, while Kiner-Falefa and Clement are stronger defenders. The Jays also couldn’t send Biggio down to the minors as he now has more than five years of service time.

That has nudged Biggio off the 40-man roster and the Jays will now have one week to trade him or pass him through waivers. Since he has passed the five-year service time marker, he has the right to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency while also retaining all of his salary. He is making $4.21MM this year, with about $2.78MM left to be paid out. If anyone were to claim him, they would have to take on that salary but would also have the ability to retain Biggio via arbitration for next year.

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Title: Blue Jays Designate Cavan Biggio For Assignment
Author: Darragh McDonald

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