Reliever Matt Gage has been claimed off of waivers by the Houston Astros

Well, a 2022 Blue Jay is no longer on the 2023 Blue Jays roster.

According to the Houston Astros’ Twitter account, the Astros claimed left-handed reliever Matt Gage off waivers.

We have claimed LHP Matt Gage off of waivers from Toronto.
Gage joins the Astros 40-man roster, which is now full.
— Houston Astros (@astros) February 13, 2023

This isn’t too surprising, as the 30-year-old had success in both the minor leagues and major leagues in the Blue Jays system last season. With the Blue Jays, he had a 1.38 ERA and a 3.88 FIP in 13 innings pitched, along with a 24 K% and a 12 BB%.
He had more of a sample size with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, where he posted a 2.34 ERA and a 2.78 FIP in 42.1 innings pitched, along with a 27.4 K% and a 9.5 BB%. He was also Buffalo’s primary closer, as he registered 12 saves for the season.
Gage was placed on unconditional release waivers on February 6th, meaning that he likely had an international opportunity. Since the Astros picked up Gage, he will remain on the team’s 40-man roster, meaning that he could be one of the first to earn a call-up to the team – if he doesn’t make it out of spring training.

Here’s Matt Gage (@MattGage91)’s strikeout thread from this evening!#BlueJays #NextLevel
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) September 16, 2022

In terms of depth, the Blue Jays bullpen did take a little bit of a hit, but they’ve invited five left-handed pitchers to spring training as non-roster invitees. You can read more about that here.
With all that being said, we here at Blue Jays Nation …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Orioles have the lowest guaranteed payroll for the 2023 season, could they make a run to sign Jacob DeGrom?

The AL East’s trash birds may no longer be trash birds.

According to Rob Piersall of Mets Legend and Sports Illustrated, the Baltimore Orioles “could be a team in on pitcher Jacob DeGrom this winter”.

Source: I’m hearing the Baltimore Orioles could be one team in on Jacob deGrom this winter.
— Rob Piersall (@RTPiersall) October 29, 2022

Like with all rumours from anyone not named Jeff Passan or Ken Rosenthal, this must be taken with a grain of salt. It does raise the question of whether or not the Orioles will start to spend money in free agency though.
In 2021, the Orioles finished tied for the worst record at 52-110. What a difference a year makes, as they finished over .500 for the first time since 2016 with an 83-79 record, three games out of a wildcard spot.
They also had the second lowest payroll in the majors, only spending $64,771,388 in base salary and $93,782,150 in luxury tax. In fact, the team only had two players on the active roster that made more than $1,000,000 in 2022 by the end of the season (Jordan Lyles and Anthony Santander). This doesn’t account for injured played like John Means, traded players like Trey Mancini, or paying off the rest of Chris Davis’ contract.
The point is that the team will have a ton of space available to add free agents. As it stands, they have a guaranteed $19,641,666 in active payroll and $54,202,835 in projected payroll after arbitration. Their projected payroll for the luxury tax is $63,607,001, well below the $233,000,000 Competitive Tax Balance limit.
There may be reasons why the Orioles don’t spend big this offseason. The biggest of which is the city of Baltimore is considered …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation