September 7, 2018 / 4:32 AM / in a month

MLBPA critical of Jays for not calling up Guerrero Jr.

The Major League Baseball Players Association criticized the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday for not promoting top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. among their September call-ups.

Mar 27, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays infielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) reacts after hitting a home run in the ninth inning to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

“The union’s position on service-time manipulation is clear, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and other great young talents around baseball have earned the right to play on the field for a major league team,” an MLBPA spokesman told Sportsnet. “The decision to not to bring him up is a business decision, not a baseball decision. It’s bad for the Blue Jays, it’s bad for fans, it’s bad for players and it’s bad for the industry.”

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro had said in an appearance on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio on Wednesday that the decision not to call up Guerrero was not based on money.

“It has nothing to do with business,” Shapiro said. “It has nothing to do with anything other than we think the best thing for him developmentally is to go play in Arizona and continue to develop.

“We think that when he gets here — which would obviously not preclude him from making the team out of spring training next year, which would be evidence of that fact — we think he’s got a chance to be an impact player.”

Guerrero, 19, tore up the minors this season, hitting .381 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs in 95 games across four levels. In 30 games at Triple-A Buffalo, he hit .336 with six homers and 16 RBIs.

Guerrero, a third baseman, is widely considered one of baseball’s top prospects. By not calling him up, the Blue Jays can potentially delay when he becomes first eligible for free agency.

Instead of joining the major league team, Guerrero will play in the Arizona Fall League.

—Field Level Media

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