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Jays Sign Saunders-TSJSportsMLB

Michael Saunders Keith Allison Via


Saunders Signs Minor League Deal

Just a day after releasing veteran right-hander Jason Grilli, the Blue Jays signed a familiar face. Michael Saunders was DFA’d by the Phillies after a rough start to the season for him. He slashed a measly .205/.257/.617 through 200 at-bats. An all-star last year for the Blue Jays, Saunders hit a career-high 24 home runs. The Jays didn’t extend a qualifying offer to Saunders after his strong campaign but had hoped to re-sign him.

Why it makes sense

The Jays seemed as one of the two most likely fits for Saunders to land as the other would have been the Giants.  With Pearce on the DL and Carerra as the everyday starter in left, the Blue Jays took a shot at the one time All-star. As the Jays sit 4 games below .500 and 3.5 back of the second wildcard, they hope he can find his sweet stroke that he had in the first half of last season. But by signing him to a minor league deal, they assume no risk as they don’t have to open a spot on the 40 man unless he does well in his stint with Buffalo. As a left handed bat, it would help even out the right-hand heavy lineup.


Saunders probably won’t appear in a Major League game until after the All-star break as he gets back into the hang of playing every day. If he can force his way onto the Jays 25 man roster, he will most likely see time in left and possibly even platoon with Pearce when he is finally healthy. He is a long shot to recapture his all-star form from the last year but could provide this struggling team with a shot in the arm. If the Jays plan to make the postseason though, they will need more than just Saunders.