Blue Jays activate Saunders, who will play tonight

Tolleson designated for assignment to make room

Blue Jays activate Saunders, who will play tonight

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Blue Jays activated outfielder Michael Saunders from the 15-day disabled list following Friday night's 12-3 loss to the Rays.

Utilityman Steve Tolleson was designated for assignment to make room for Saunders on the 25-man roster. Tolleson was out of options and could not be sent to the Minors without clearing waivers.

Saunders will make his season debut on Saturday night against the Rays after missing his club's first 17 games following left knee surgery earlier this spring. The veteran outfielder went 1-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs in his final rehab games for Class A Advanced Dunedin on Friday night.

The Blue Jays now have 10 days to either trade, assign or release Tolleson. The club likely hopes to get Tolleson through waivers during that time period and assign him to Triple-A Buffalo, but it remains to be seen whether another organization stops that from happening.

Tolleson spent parts of the past two seasons with the Blue Jays and was predominantly used against left-handed pitching. He's a versatile player who has appeared at every position in the Major Leagues except catcher, first base and center field.

"It's disappointing," Tolleson said after he was informed about the club's decision after Friday night's game. "There are a lot of good things going on in this clubhouse. You take today aside and there are a lot of things to be excited about.

"In many ways I hope that I find my way back here, but the ultimate goal is to be in the big leagues and it's looking like it's not going to be with this team right now, so hopefully it'll be with somebody else."

With Tolleson out of the picture, the Blue Jays will have Ryan Goins as the primary back-up middle infielder. Saunders joins an outfield that also includes Jose Bautista, Dalton Pompey and Kevin Pillar.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.