Toronto Blue Jays Claim Eli Whiteside From New York Yankees

By Thom Tsang
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

They’ve done it again.

Just mere weeks after shaking up the baseball world with a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins, the Toronto Blue Jays continued their relentless quest to build the best team in the game, plucking Eli Whiteside from the throes of the New York Yankees earlier this afternoon.

Now, you might be asking, who is Eli Whiteside?

The 33-year-old, who was a member of the Yankees for just about a month (they claimed him from the San Francisco Giants), is…well, just a guy, really. He was a backup catcher who spent the better part of three seasons with the Giants from ’09 to ’11 and spent most of last season in AAA as a backup. Though he did avoid arbitration with the Yankees by signing a one-year contract, the team dropped Whiteside from their 40-man roster to waivers, ostensibly so the catcher could play a reserve role in the minors.

That’s where the Blue Jays came in. So, what does this particular acquisition mean for the team?

On one hand, the addition of Whiteside doesn’t mean much at all. In fact, it’s conceivably the case that he might not be a member of the Blue Jays for very long, with the team already carrying four other catchers (JP Arencibia, John Buck, Travis D’Arnaud, AJ Jiminez).

On the other hand, what it does tell us is that the Blue Jays are still on course with the plan to trade one of those catchers (likely either JPA or Buck), with Whiteside potentially filling the temporary backup role that was once destined for Bobby Wilson, keeping the seat warm for D’Arnaud to come up?

That’s presumably the plan, anyway. The team would have to put Whiteside through waivers to send him to the minors, so if a trade doesn’t happen, there’s a good chance that this particular partnership will be short-lived.

So, I’d maybe hold up on ordering that Eli Whiteside jersey for now–just sayin’.

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