Blue Jays sign Greg Burke to minor league deal, invite to Spring Training


The Toronto Blue Jays remain very active on the Major League side of the free agent market, but that doesn’t mean that Alex Anthopoulos and his crack team of mad scientists aren’t also working the familiar territory on the minor league front as well. The Blue Jays made just such a signing on Tuesday afternoon, inking right-hander Greg Burke to a minor league deal according to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi.

The signing includes a trip to Major League Spring Training for the 32-year-old journeyman. A veteran of ten minor league seasons, one of which was in Independent Baseball, Greg Burke has spent time with the San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, and most recently the Colorado Rockies organization.

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Burke has made 80 appearances at the Major League level, split between the Padres (48 in 2009) and the Mets (32 in 2013), but has failed to really grab a hold of a bullpen role. He owns a 3-6 record with a 4.77 ERA, a 4.19 FIP, a 4.4 BB/9, and a 7.1 K/9 ratio over 77.1 innings of work for his Major League career.

However, the 6’5″ right-hander has spent most of his playing career at the minor league level, having thrown 672 career innings. Overall, he owns a 30-29 record with a 4.29 ERA and a 7.7 K/9 ratio, the latter two marks very similar to his Major League production. Burke’s walk rate of  2.6 BB/9 was much better though in the minors, as it should be against hitters who are more aggressive.

His last season was much different however. Maybe it was ago (he’s a good 4 years older than the average  player at his level according to Baseball-Reference) or it was the Pacific Coast League affect, but the wheels fell off for Burke with a 7.59 ERA and 10 home runs allowed in 53.1 innings of work at Colorado Springs a year ago.

He’ll slot into the relief mix next season at either New Hampshire (Double-A) or Buffalo (Triple-A), but it’s doubtful that the side-armer will become Anthopoulos’ latest reclamation project.