The Toronto Blue Jays have signed 1B Casey Kotchman, 2B David Adams and SS Jiovanni Mier to minor league contracts that include an invitation to spring training. Given the lack of personnel depth at the top end of the Blue Jays system, the trio should figure prominently in to the Buffalo Bisons lineup for the 2016 campaign.
Kotchman is likely the most familiar name to Blue Jays fans, as the 32-year old first baseman has 10 yeas of MLB experience with nearly 1000 games under his belt. In the majors, Kotchman carries a career slash line of .260 /.326 / .385, but has not appeared in an MLB game since 2013.
In 2015, Kotchman made 361 plate appearances for AAA Omaha of the Kansas City Royals organization, good for an .800 OPS, hitting seven home runs for 44 RBIs and walking more than he struck out. While he’s by no means dynamic, Kotchman does offer a more contact-focused bat that would stay afloat well enough if called upon.
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In Adams, the second baseman, Toronto adds a former 3rd round pick of the New York Yankees whose talent never materialized in a brief 2013 stint with the big club (43 G, .193 AVG). Adams spent the 2015 campaign with AA Jacksonville in the Miami Marlins organization, putting up a .295 average and .399 OBP. With an impressive level of plate discipline, Adams should make for some nice organizational filler at an area of great need in the Blue Jays system.
Mier is an interesting addition, as the Houston Astros 1st round pick from 2009 was ranked as Baseball America’s number 73 prospect entering the 2010 season. He’s spent his entire career in the Astros organization, albeit taking a step back to AA Corpus Cristi in 2015 where he posted a .258 average. Mier primarily played shortstop this past season, but has experience moving between second base and third. There are still plenty of holes to be filled throughout the Jays farm system, so any level of positional versatility will be valuable.
There’s no such thing as a bad minor league signing, and with each of these players, theres seems to be a decent level of value. From a steady veteran bat in Kotchman to the youth and still-not-dead potential of Mier, don’t be surprised if one of these names or another the minor league signings see some prominent time on the big league club a la Chris Colabello or Ezequiel Carrera.