As per an official team press release, the Blue Jays have signed outfielder Corey Patterson, catcher Ryan Budde, and pitchers Winston Abreu, Sean Henn, Mike Hinckley, and Brian Stokes all to Minor League contracts with invites to Spring Training.
Patterson is the only new name to be announced on this list, as the other five on this list had all been announced in some way before today.
Mat announced the signing of catcher Ryan Budde yesterday, and Winston Abreu on December 7th. I touched on Abreu’s Winter League progress back on December 8th, and took a look at the Mike Hinckley signing way back on November 20th.
Patterson, 31, is an interesting signing by Alex Anthopoulos because there is no real commitment, but it’s still questionable. He would have to be unbelievable to earn a spot on the Major League roster, because it’s guaranteed he won’t be taking playing time away from Travis Snider and Vernon Wells.
I had contemplated that this signing was for a fourth outfielder option or a platoon partner with Rajai Davis, but upon further analysis Patterson doesn’t make sense in a platoon either. He’s had success against right-handed pitching but has been bad against southpaws throughout his career, especially given his .207/.235/.280 line vs. LHP in 2010. Davis, a right-handed hitter, has done well against left-handed pitching, especially in 2010.
Abreu, 33, has primarily been a Triple-A reliever and has never been given a realistic shot at making a Major League roster. If he puts up numbers like he did last year and continues his Winter League success, he could get that chance with the Jays if he has a good spring as well. In 15 games in the Dominican Winter League so far, Abreu has yet to give up an earned run, and has 15 strikeouts in 13.2 innings.
Sean Henn returns to the Blue Jays organization as a bullpen depth option, as it seems unrealistic he’ll crack the Blue Jays roster out of Spring Training. Then again, anything can happen.
Brian Stokes pitched 16.2 innings for the Los Angeles Angels in 2010, and while he did strikeout 16, he walked 16 batters as well.
This is not the craziest of news overall with any of these players, but it’s impossible to really complain about any of them.