After stealing all three of the starting outfielders from their Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, the Toronto Blue Jays inked 28-year-old Blake Gailen to a minor league contract through the end of the season, according to a press release by the Bisons.
Gailen was leading the Atlantic League in doubles and walks while playing for the Lancaster Barnstormers and hitting .288 with 11 home runs, 52 RBI, and a .839 OPS. A year ago, he was named the Atlantic League Most Valuable Player after hitting .338 with a .949 OPS, 22 home runs, 89 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.
A seven-year veteran of independent baseball since graduating from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2007, Gailen went undrafted out of college. He is a career .329 hitter with a lifetime OPS of .914 in independent ball.
He has previously attracted the attention of organized baseball just once in the past, appearing in 29 games for the Arkansas Travelers, a Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. In 119 plate appearances, Gailen would hit just .208 with a .688 OPS for the Travelers.
With the Blue Jays having promoted Kevin Pillar, Anthony Gose, and Moises Sierra in the past week, the team has filled holes at the Major League level by opening new ones at Buffalo. Earlier this week, the team re-signed Ryan Langerhans to fill one of those spots and now add Gailen to occupy another.
And who knows, maybe they can find the next Daniel Nava in the process.