Major league rosters are constructed from a combination of players from drafts, free agency, trades, and waivers. Typical rosters just list where each player is but not where they came from and how the sequence of moves that were needed for the team to acquire them. I have been interested in the lineage of various Blue Jays players, and recently masterkembo posted a comment on how the recently-retired Chris Carpenter became a Blue Jay, and managed to trace a direct lineage all the way back to Al Woods, who was drafted in 15th round of the 1976 expansion draft.
Ann Frazier, the editor of fellow SB Nation blog Fear The Fin developed a "roster tree," similar to a family tree, to visualize the lineage of the San Jose Sharks back in 2010. I modified her design into a typical rapid transit route map for the Blue Jays 40-man roster. The current roster is displayed as the blue loop line, and each current player is linked to a predecessor (if they have one) via a different transit line.
Click for enlarged version. Image copyright Minor Leaguer, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
Here are some notes about the roster tree / route map:
- Only a player's most recent acquisition is shown. Edwin Encarnacion is not connected to Scott Rolen even though he was first acquired as part of a trade, because he was claimed by the Athletics in 2010 before being non-tendered and then signing with the Blue Jays as a free agent. For similar reasons, Sergio Santos is only linked to Nestor Molina, and not Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista.
- On the other hand, since John Buck was the predecessor for Joseph Musgrove (free agent compensation) and was part of the R.A. Dickey / Josh Thole trade, he gets linked to both.
- All amateur draft picks in the compensation round came from departing free agents except for Noah Syndergaard, who was compensation for James Paxton not signing with the club. (Paxton, in turn, was a free agent compensation pick from A.J. Burnett's departure.)
- Cash involved in trades are not included in the chart, but players from cash trades can easily be spotted, as they would have no predecessor (see Miguel Olivo and Jeremy Jeffress).
- Although the Blue Jays traded manager John Farrell and David Carpenter for Mike Aviles, Farrell was not included because officially, the trade was only Carpenter for Aviles. Farrell was simply "released from his contract."
- For simplicity, all forms of free agency (amateur, minor league, major league) were combined as one symbol.
- Two players who are acquired by the same method and are at the end of a line are combined to save space and simplify the graphic.
- As mentioned by Playoffs!!!!1 in the comments of a previous post, the oldest branch of the roster tree is Kelvim Escobar, who signed as an amateur free agent in 1992, then he left as a free agent in 2003, giving the Blue Jays a compensation draft in 2004, where they selected Adam Lind.
- As mentioned by MjwW, the longest-serving member of the 40-man roster is Dustin McGowan and he is ultimately linked to Roger Clemens.
- The longest branch in terms of most players involved in a direct line: Miguel Batista and Orlando Hudson were traded for Troy Glaus, who was traded for Scott Rolen, who was traded for Zach Stewart, who was then traded for Edwin Jackson, who was traded for Colby Rasmus.
- There is no meaning to the order in which players are found on the blue loop line, nor there are any meanings to the specific shapes of each line. The map is not to scale chronologically, but some attempts were made to show the particularly longer relationships (Lind to Escobar, McGowan to Clemens).
For future versions, I am looking for some creative names for the different coloured lines, so do make suggestions in the comments. I have one for the blue line: the "Aaron Loop".