CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Right-hander Neil Wagner was optioned to Minor League camp on Friday as the Blue Jays continue to narrow the focus of their spring competitions.
Wagner was one of the surprise contributors to Toronto's bullpen during the 2013 season. He posted a 3.79 ERA in 38 innings and became a favorite of manager John Gibbons.
The 30-year-old likely would have received more consideration this season, but he was a victim of his contractual status. Wagner has a Minor League option remaining on his contract while a lot of other pitchers in the mix for a job don't, and that became a factor.
Right-handers Jeremy Jeffress, Dustin McGowan, Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond also are competing for jobs. They cannot be sent to the Minors without first clearing waivers and being made available to other teams.
Wagner will likely receive another opportunity at some point this season. He's expected the start the year with Triple-A Buffalo, where he posted 16 saves for the Bisons last season.