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While we’re likely to see some more of this going forward, 18-year-old lefty Marc Civit became the first Toronto Blue Jays’ minor leaguer to sign with an independent league since the announcement that the Minor League Baseball season had been cancelled.
Civit, a slight lefty from Spain whose father, Xavier Civit, pitched in the minor leagues for the Expos, signed the other day with UnipolSai Bologna for the 2020 IBL season after getting permission from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Civit, who was signed at the age of 16 by the Blue Jays coming out of Spain, pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2019 with solid results, posting a 3.13 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, walking 15 and striking out 24 in 31 2/3 innings for the Jays.
The key for minor league players under contract is that they need permission from the major league team they’re signed with but I have seen something that says that the players likely will not be insured by the big league team if they do sign with unaffiliated squads to play in 2020. For most American ballplayers, the thought of an injury while uninsured could be catastrophic. For Civit, an EU citizen, it’s likely less of a worry if he does (knock on wood) get hurt while pitching in Italy although the level of specialization of the European doctors in this type of sports injury could be less than he might get than in the US.
The Blue Jays have a few Europeans in their system with two Dutch nationals signing last year in Jiorgeny Casimiri and Sem Robberse. It’s possible that playing in a European league could be an option for them as well, offering a little more security than playing in an unaffiliated league in the US, where Coronavirus worries have hit an all-time high.
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