The 25 Man Roster Challenge Is Back Once Again


Are you carrying around a scratch pad of paper with crossed out player names in your wallet? Are you pondering what the Blue Jays opening day lineup will look like while you wait in traffic for a light to change? Do you tune out your significant other while you internally debate the merits of an 8-man bullpen?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then we implore you to join us for the 9th annual 25 Man Roster Challenge.

It’s a super simple game that has but one requirement: Name the 25 baseball players within the Blue Jays organization who will crack the opening day roster.

Sounds simple right?

Well, it isn’t. No one has ever gone 25-for-25 in all the years we’ve been running this challenge, and we would get the warm fuzzies all over if that streak was broken this time around.

If you decide to play, there are 3 ways to submit your ballot:

1) Send us an email: 1bluejaysway(at)gmail.com
2) Make a post on your blog, if you have one, and send us a link.
3) Add your ballot to the comments section of this post or the reminders we post later.

In the event of a tie—and it's pretty much a given at this point that there will be a tie—we ask that you also give us a prediction of what you think the spring training record will be. From what we can see, it appears as though the boys of summer will attempt to play 33 spring training games this year. That total includes the 2 exhibition games against the Cardinals at the Big O but not the split-squad game against the Canadian Junior National Team on March 17.

Try not to forget that sometimes it rains in Florida and the games don't generally get made up if they are cancelled. There is also a chance that if a game goes to extra innings and one team runs out of pitchers, both teams agree the game ends in a tie. 

It is not a requirement that you select a tie breaker, all ballots containing 25 names will be considered valid, but it is a really good idea that you do include one. Over the years we have had numerous stupid close finishes and we actually had to break it right down to winning percentage.

Some Things To Consider:

What’s this we see? Legit position player battles? Serviceable depth in the event injuries happen whilst playing a professional sport on FUCKING CONCRETE? What a concept. We’re all for running out the best 9 dudes on the roster every damn day until they drop dead or are exposed as frauds but, gosh, a real MLB bench is a unicorn up here in Baseball North headquarters. This could make the roster challenge a tad bit dicey once you really get down to the last four or five names on your ballot.

Your Toronto Blue Jays currently have a few players who are out of options on the 40-man roster and would therefore have to make the team or be sent through waivers before they could be demoted to the Minor Leagues. A few of these players are not in jeopardy at all, but there will be some spring training battles to keep your eyes on here for sure. We have not yet been able to confirm a complete list and will update this post when possible.

  • OF Ezequiel Carrera
  • 1B Justin Smoak
  • MVP Donaldson

Zeke’s days of blindly chucking baseballs around the stadium may have just mercifully come an end. Not sure the tall foreheads on the executive board over at Rogers will be pleased with eating the two million-ish bucks on his contract he just re-upped but he has no value on a major league roster.


Perusing the current 40-man roster, one name jumps out right away as the early money favorite to be the X factor in this edition of the roster challenge. An argument can be made that the very quirky and very loveable Joseph Carlo Biagini should be in the back end of the MLB starting rotation OR a swing man out of the pen OR a high leverage set-up type guy in the pen OR optioned to Buffalo to lead their team’s prospect-loaded pitching staff and be the first line of defense when Marco has more trouble going to sleepy. We think he could handle any one of those roles—some better than others, no doubt—but for the purposes of this exercise it doesn’t matter. Who wins what job is irrelevant, but it really should be taken into consideration when constructing your ballot.

At the end of the day, all you have to do to be the champion is pick the right 25 names.


This year we have a great selection of coveted prizes for the winner to keep. Last year’s champion declined to accept the loot, so we’ve just rolled it back one more time.

It’s quite a haul and more reflective of the fact that we process way too much Jays crap from the past. The foam J is the one you saw during the playoffs in 2015.

A quick note from last year’s champion who will be defending his title to the death, the one, the only, The Blue Jay Hunter:

As the defending champion of 1 Blue Jays Way's 25 Man Roster Challenge, I implore you to participate in this contest. Winning this title was no accident. I spent dozens and dozens of seconds analyzing the upside of each potential roster candidate and meticulously weighed each individual option. It's a fun exercise to see who can construct the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster, which is much more difficult than you'd think.

Injuries, signings and Spring Training oddities often throw ballots completely out the window two or three weeks into the contest. Frankly, there isn't much to argue about other than who the 24th and 25th men on the roster are going to be, anyway. Let the agonizing about the viability of Ezequiel Carrera and Matt Dermody begin!

The deadline to enter your ballots will be Tuesday, February 13 at midnight. Hope you can join us and play.

Please try to remember that all ballots should include a team name, 25 player names and a tiebreaker.


  1. C- Martin, Maile
    1B - Smoak
    2B- Travis
    SS- Tulo
    3B- Donaldson
    DH - Morales
    IF - Diaz, Solarte
    OF - Pillar, Pearce, Granderson, Grichuk
    SP - Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, Biagini
    RP- Osuna, Tepera, Barnes, Axford, Alberquerque, Loup, Breslow

    But in reality I think Biagini will be in the bullpen or Buffalo, but the 5th starter has yet to be signed.

    Tiebreaker - 15-15

  2. C - Martin
    1B - Smoak
    2B - Travis
    SS - Tulowitzki
    3B - Donaldson
    DH - Morales
    LF - Granderson
    CF - Pillar
    RF - Grichuk
    Bench - Pearce, Maile, Solarte, Diaz
    Starters - Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, Biagini
    Bullpen - Osuna, Tepera, Barnes, Loup, Breslow, Ramirez, Dermody

    Tiebreaker - 12-18