The Blue Jays announced a series of moves this afternoon, activating Dominic Leone from the bereavement list and Miguel Montero from the disabled list. Montero had been on the DL since August 4th after suffering a strained groin, and made a rehab start last night in Buffalo. In the interim, the catching situation of course became much more dire after Russell Martin went to the DL on August 12th with a strained oblique.
This of course necessitated a pair of corresponding moves to make room on the 25-man active roster, and the result was a pair of DFAs. Mike Ohlman was brought up to be the backup catcher when Martin got hurt, so it's not surprising that he's now the odd man out, and the DFA was necessary as he lacked options.
A slightly more surprising move was the DFA of J.P. Howell. While it's not not surprising given his 2017 struggles and the fact that they've barely used him, they've had plenty of opportunities to cut bait in the past couple weeks so it's a bit of a surprise that the end comes now, especially after a decent inning on the weekend. And there were other options, for example Matt Dermody could have been optioned. Three days ago I wondered what the Jays were doing with Howell, perhaps there were behind the scenes machinations but the answer was apparently biding time to likely cut bait.
As MLBTR notes, roughly $750,000 of Howell's $3-million salary remains, for which the Blue Jays will be on the hook if he passes through waivers and is released. If he were picked up by another team at the pro-rated MLB minimum, upwards of $150,000 could be mitigated.