Sep 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Munenori Kawasaki (66) during batting practice before a game against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Munenori Kawasaki Returning to Blue Jays in 2014

Quick show of hands. How many people out there thought that the Toronto Blue Jays would be re-signing shortstop Munenori Kawasaki for the 2014?


Well, those of us who thought it was going to happen, you have been vindicated. The Blue Jays have announced that they have signed Kawasaki to a minor league deal for 2014, including an invitation to spring training according to a tweet from Gregor Chisholm.



The 32-year-old Kawasaki returns to the team where he became a cult figure in 2013. His quirky behavior, pre-game routines, and warm spirit endeared himself to a fan base that badly needed something to embrace during a rough 2013 season.

Originally signed as organizational depth at shortstop, Kawasaki quickly found himself in the thick of things in Toronto after Jose Reyes‘ horrific ankle injury. Appearing in 96 games, Kawasaki  hit .229 with a .326 on-base percentage. His defense was worth 2 defensive runs saved at shortstop, despite the lack of a quality arm, and he finished the season worth nearly a full win above replacement for Toronto.

He will come to spring training attempting to secure a back-up role in an infield that also includes Maicer Izturis and Ryan Goins battling for second base duties. With Toronto also needing a viable option as a back-up at first and third bases respectively, Kawasaki faces an uphill battle to gain a role on the opening day roster. However, he showed in 2013 that he is willing to bide his time at Triple-A Buffalo and rise to the occasion once called upon.

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  • david s

    He’s back…. (again). Yes folks, little Munenori is back to dance his way into the hearts of all those who do not know a FIP from a dWAR. AA is stacking up still, and is giving those that wish to be entertained a real Christmas present. Actually, it is not a bad move. Depth for the middle infield if necessary. If anything, it might put a fire under Izturis to play better.

  • Celtic Sparky

    jays news is getting more exciting by the day…how many AAA infielders does the org need in addition to those already on its major league roster?

    • david s

      I just checked the Bisons roster. There are no infielders listed as of yet. Catchers, pitchers, and two coaches minus the head coach who left two days ago. So could they consist of the non-roster invitees? I know not. The Fisher Cats roster is much more complete. One thing is for sure Kawasaki is playing Short in upstate NY.

  • bob l.

    added to ohka , that makes double “tanaka bait”. good signing, aa !!