The Toronto Blue Jays reached out to a blast from the past in order to add some infield (and possibly outfield) depth to the minor league system, signing infielder Andy Burns, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy.
Burns, 28, played in 2017 and 2018 with the Lotte Giants in the Korean Baseball Organization, hitting .303/.361/.499 with 38 doubles and 15 home runs in 116 with the hitter-friendly league in 2017 and .268/.329/.513 with 34 doubles, five triples and 23 home runs in 2018. That said, his 23 home runs came at a cost of an increased strikeout rate (26.3%) and a reduced OBP and batting average.
Mykbostats.com reports that Burns was a second baseman although he was always known for his defensive flexibility in the Blue Jays’ organization, starting out as a shortstop, and later adding third base, second base, first base and even outfield positions to his resume as he worked his way up the minor league ladder. Burns made his big league debut with Toronto in 2016, going 0/6 and getting hit by a pitch once with two strikeouts in seven plate appearances.
The deal is a minor league contract for Burns but it’s unknown as to whether he will be getting a big league spring training invitation (the transaction is not listed on the Blue Jays’ website nor is it listed on MiLB.com and Burns is not listed as a non-roster invitee to spring training as of yet).
Obviously, with minor league signings, there is no down side and it looks like Burns will probably be an “all-over” player in Buffalo where he can serve as an extra layer of depth, having had two years of high-level pro experience (plus his time in Buffalo and Toronto) that enables the Blue Jays to fill an injury gap without having to start the service time clock on someone like Bo Bichette or Cavan Biggio or rush them to the big leagues.
I’ve always liked Andy’s play although his selling out for power in 2018 is somewhat concerning to me. That said, I’m happy to see him in Buffalo in 2019 and I’m sure that he can contribute to The Herd and be that depth player that the Jays can always use.
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