Since I was a youth, I have been interested in learning what numbers new Blue Jays players were going to wear in Toronto and to spot which current Jays were switching numbers. Because of the lack of Internet access back then, I started a notebook tracking player numbers when I was 9 or so and my favourite present every birthday (it’s in April so make a note, readers) would be my own copy of the Blue Jays Official Guide which listed the numbers for everyone, including non-roster invitees.
Looking up player numbers is much easier nowadays but I still find it fun to keep track on who is wearing what from year to year. Let’s start our journey with #3:
Jonathan Davis switches from the #49 he wore over the past two years to Brandon Drury’s old #3. He wore #67 when he was first called up to Toronto.
George Springer has worn #4 his entire career and he will continue to do so this year when he debuts with the Blue Jays. Last year, third base coach Luis Rivera wore #4 so he will have to switch. Rivera first wore #63 when he first became coach in Toronto in 2011, then switched to #2, before landing on #4 when Troy Tulowitzki was acquired.
One of the two players returning to the Blue Jays as a non-roster invitee, Richard Ureña will don #6 in spring training, a number last worn by Travis Shaw in 2020. Ureña spent last season in the Orioles’ system and wore #7 in his previous stint in Toronto. Speaking of #7...
The new owner of the #7 jersey in Toronto is Reese McGuire, who is inheriting the number from another catcher, Caleb Joseph. McGuire is switching because his old #10 now belongs to...
New free agent signing Marcus Semien, who has worn #10 for the past six years with the Athletics.
We skip up a Roberto Alomar number of steps to #22, which will be worn by left-handed pitcher Steven Matz. Chase Anderson wore #22 last year, but last Blue Jays southpaw to wear that number was none other than Jimmy Key. Matz has worn #32 his entire career with the Mets, but that number was unavailable to him in Toronto as it is retired for Roy Halladay. Another pitcher who had to switch from #32 was...
Tyler Chatwood, who had intermittently worn #32 for eight seasons in his career. Matt Shoemaker was the most recent Blue Jay to wear #34.
Minor league free agent signing Tyler White will be wearing #28 as an invitee in spring training. White wore #28 with the Dodgers in 2019, Billy McKinney wore #28 for the Jays over his three seasons in Toronto.
Alejandro Kirk switches from his rookie number of #85 to #30, which was worn by Anthony Alford and Jonathan Villar in 2020.
Kirby Yates will continue wearing the #39 that he has worn for most of his career in 2021. Bench coach Dave Hudgens needs a new number.
Returning to Toronto as a non-roster player after a few years away, Francisco Liriano will be reclaiming his old #45, which he wore with the Blue Jays in 2016 and 2017. In the interim, it had been assigned to Chris Rowley and Thomas Pannone.
Added to the 40-man roster this offseason, catcher Riley Adams gets #50 after being assigned #76 for spring training 2020. Phillippe Aumont wore #50 before he became a farmer after COVID shut down spring training.
Ty Tice, who wore #73 in spring training last year, gets a more roster-y number after being protected from the Rule 5 Draft. Justin Miller had this number in spring training last year.
Catcher Gabriel Moreno, another prospect who was added to the roster for protection from the Rule 5 Draft, will be wearing a not-very-roster-y #70 in his first trip to big league spring training. Another catcher, Patrick Cantwell, had that number last spring training.
Otto Lopez takes #72, last worn in 2020’s spring training by Santiago Espinal. Espinal switched to #5 after making the team.