LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Thad Weber is headed to the Korean Baseball League after it was announced that his rights have been sold to the NC Dinos.
The move was previously announced by the club but didn't become official until Wednesday night. The timing is crucial as it opens up a spot on Toronto's 40-man roster prior to Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft.
Weber made a brief appearance in the big leagues during the 2013 season, but spent the vast majority of the year at Triple-A Buffalo. He wasn't going to make next year's club and likely would have been lost in the near future on waivers.
"It was one of those things where there was a scenario that he was going to come off the 40-man roster and if he did, we felt there was a good chance he was going to get claimed," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
"If you think he's going to come off the roster, and ultimately get claimed, and he has an opportunity to go help his career and family, it makes sense for both sides to do it. I don't know that, right now, we'd have a rotation spot for him so he was probably going to have to be in the bullpen as a long man."
This should hardly come as a surprise, but Anthopoulos explained that the Blue Jays would never sell the rights of a player to an international team without prior consent. The process usually starts with the foreign team expressing some interest and then the club would reach out to the player to see if that feeling is mutual.
Weber didn't have much of a future in Toronto, but there was obvious interest elsewhere following a year in which the 29-year-old posted an impressive 2.61 ERA in 18 games for Triple-A Buffalo.
"We'll be approached by the club, if we're open minded to exploring it, we'll contact the player and say, 'Look, we've been approached, do you have interest in going?'" Anthopoulos said of the process.
"If they say no, it ends there. If they say, 'Yeah, I'd be interested in going for the right price and the right salary,' we start negotiating a price to sell the player and then the agent negotiates a contract. Sometimes a player says he has no interest and it won't go anywhere from there."