The Blue Jays had a few newsworthy items come up in the last couple of days including the re-signing of a player who was picked up over the offseason, the avoidance of arbitration of a closer-in-waiting and the loss of a key minor league staff member.
The first bit of news to come out yesterday was that the Blue Jays had re-signed Andy Dirks to a minor league contract. Dirks, you may recall was selected off waivers by the Blue Jays on October 31 from the Detroit Tigers and then, non-tendered a contract when his arbitration estimates were up in the $1.6 million range.
Dirks, a 28-year-old, left-handed hitting left fielder with some solid potential as a major league player, has been sidelined by injuries for all of 2014 (getting a total of 40 minor league at bats) but has a lifetime .276/.332/.413 triple slash line and could be a platoon guy (or even an everyday guy) in left field for the Blue Jays. If not, he’ll certainly be able to prove himself in spring training with an invitation to major league camp.
The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Brett Cecil, signing him to a one-year, $2.475 million contract. “Squints” earns himself a raise of almost $1.2 million and was projected to make just a little more by MLB Trade Rumors and so the number that the two sides arrived at for a contract seems like a good deal by most accounts.
Cecil has been written about by many writers this offseason as the 2015 closer with Nick Ashbourne citing an increase in his curveball’s velocity as the biggest reason for his renewed success in 2014.
Finally, Minor Leaguer at Bluebird Banter (who had a busy day down in Buffalo at the Hot Stove Luncheon) also reported that Clayton McCullough was picked up by the Dodgers and given a promotion to take on the Minor League Field Coordinator position, the one filled by Doug Davis for the Blue Jays.
McCullough (who joined Blue Jays from Away for an interview last August when I caught up to him in Lansing) had been tabbed as a rising star within the Blue Jays system, with a role created for him to oversee the development of the Blue Jays position players in the lower levels of the minor leagues.
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Work has started on the 2015 edition of the Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook. You can still purchase The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com, now at a reduced price of $2.99 US. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page!
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