The Blue Jays announced this evening they’ve activated Cavan Biggio from the COVID-19 injured list and optioned him to Triple-A Buffalo. The Jays had a vacancy on the 40-man roster, so no additional move was necessary.
Biggio has appeared in minor league games on rehab stints over the past couple seasons, but this is the first time he’s been sent to the minors as an official assignment since he made his MLB debut in May 2019. That he’s been squeezed off the active roster for the time being is a testament both to his recent struggles and the strong work of new starting second baseman Santiago Espinal.
Over his first two MLB seasons, Biggio posted above-average offensive numbers revolving around excellent on-base skills. An exceedingly patient hitter, he was among the game’s best at drawing walks and reached base at a .368 clip in a bit shy of 700 plate appearances. Both his walk and power numbers took a step back last season, though, and he struggled to a .224/.322/.326 line across 79 games.
In spite of that downturn, Biggio was the Jays’ Opening Day second baseman this year. He collected just one hit and three walks over his first 13 games, however, and he’d begun to cede playing time to Espinal even before landing on the IL on April 27. The latter has continued to produce after the calendar flipped to May and owns a .282/.347/.445 line through 124 plate appearances. Espinal has seized a place in the regular infield alongside Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman, leaving no room in the starting lineup for Biggio.
Biggio entered this season with two years and 129 days of service, putting him on a trajectory to reach free agency after the 2025 season. He has accrued roughly 39 more service days this year, leaving him just a few days shy of hitting the three-year threshold. (Players are credited with a full service year upon reaching 172 days on an MLB roster or injured list). Assuming he’s recalled at some point this season — which seems likely barring major struggles or injury in the minors — his free agent trajectory won’t be affected by today’s demotion.