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Blue Jays Roster Tree Route Map—The 40-Man Roster Infographic

All free agents no trades makes this a dull map

Copyright Minor Leaguer

The original version of the Blue Jays Roster Tree Route Map was made after the 2013 season and was, if I say so myself, pretty interesting.

Roster Tree from November 2013
Copyright Minor Leaguer

It featured a lot of connections between different players, with the three huge trades (J.A. Happ trade with the Astros, R.A. Dickey trade with the Mets, and the Marlins trade) tying together a bunch of players, and the long route around RASMUS. I don’t think there has since been a linear transaction series with six members (Miguel Batista begat Troy Glaus, who begat Scott Rolen, who begat Zach Stewart, who begat Edwin Jackson, who begat Colby Rasmus).

Compared to the 2013 version, the current 40-man roster is much less interconnected through transactions. Gone are the traces of the trade with the Mets, as well as all the players involved in the Happ trade. (HAPP was still connected to them via a side line [1] until Michael Saunders, who was acquired for Happ in a trade, departed via free agency.) The roster is also composed of more draftees, free agents, and waiver picks than from trades. The reduction of the number of compensation picks has also contributed to diminishing connections.

Interestingly, in both the 2013 and 2017 versions, the oldest branch remains the one that terminates with K. Escobar (Kelvim Escobar was signed as an amateur free agent in 1992). The current roster tree includes players from the Pat Gillick (Escobar), Gord Ash (Roy Halladay), J.P. Ricciardi, Alex Anthopoulos, Tony LaCava (Jesse Chavez, J.A. Happ), and Ross Atkins eras.

Roster Tree from February 2017
Copyright Minor Leaguer

For those new to Bluebird Banter or who are still confused about the roster route map, here are some notes:

  • The dark blue loop connects all the players currently on the 40-man roster (whose names are in ALL CAPS). It doesn’t apply now, but players on the 60-day disabled list still appear on the loop although they’re not counted in the 40-player limit. Players who are on the suspended or restricted lists will also remain on the loop.
  • Players on the 10-day disabled list (or 7-day concussion DL, bereavement list, paternity list) are not indicated with a red cross symbol as those lists do not affect their status on the 40-man roster.
  • To reduce clutter, players who were acquired or traded away via the same type of transaction are grouped together with a single symbol, with their names connected by an en-dash (to distinguish them from a single player with a hyphenated surname). For example, LIRIANO–RAMIREZ are grouped because they were acquired together for Hutchison in a single transaction, while Castro–Tinoco are grouped even though they were signed separately because they were traded away together.
  • Players sharing the same surname are distinguished with their first initials (e.g. J. SMITH and C. SMITH; K. Escobar and Y. Escobar).
  • All lines should be followed away from the loop, regardless of the direction they point. For example, TULOWITZKI is actually connected from Reyes, Castro–Tinoco, and Hoffman in the same direction chronologically, even though graphically one line points right and the other points left.
  • A trade symbol (circle) without a connection (e.g. CECILIANI) indicates that a player was acquired for cash considerations.
  • A compensation draft pick (upward triangle) is connected to the free agent whose departure led to the pick. For example, the compensation pick that the Jays used to select SANCHEZ came from Scutaro leaving as a free agent.
  • Only a player’s most recent acquisition is shown for players with multiple stints with the Blue Jays if they spend time in another organization between the stints. For example, HAPP is shown as a free agent signing with no reference to the Astros trade; however, BAUTISTA is still shown as coming from a trade even though he re-signed as a free agent as he spend no time with another organization this offseason. An exception to the “most recent acquisition” rule, which does not currently apply, would be for players whose previous stint is still linked to a current player.
  • The positioning of players around the loop and the shapes of the lines are mostly arbitrary.
  • Transaction routes with more than two players receive a unique colour; all two-player routes are grey.
  • All players who are designated for assignment are now immediately removed from the map as the current CBA eliminated optional waivers. (Previously, players DFAed to clear optional waivers were not removed.)
  • New feature: I received a lot of requests for this. Now, players acquired via amateur / international free agency are indicated with an asterisk. In a future version, they will receive a new symbol to better distinguish them from minor league and major league free agent signings.

The route map is updated throughout the season and the latest version can always be found here, so bookmark that page!

Original sketch of the Blue Jays Roster Tree Route Map before different symbols were used for different transactions. It was drawn on the back of a printout of the 2013 Indianapolis Indians roster of all things.
Minor Leaguer
The primary architect of the roster poses with a diagram of his creation in September 2015.
Minor Leauger photo