Blue Jays: Maicer Izturis Returns On Minor League Deal


There was a notable little signing in Toronto on Friday as the Blue Jays have brought back utility infielder Maicer Izturis on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Izturis was a free agent after his 3 year, 10 million dollar contract with the Blue Jays expired at the end of the 2015 season. His first tenure in Toronto was full of injuries and frustration, leading to only 118 games played over the life of the contract.

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For those that can’t remember when Izturis was last healthy and productive, he did play 107 games for Toronto in 2013, playing all over the diamond and batting .236. He was also the opening day 2nd baseman for the Blue Jays in 2014 and started hot before a season-ending injury cut him down. Prior to coming to Toronto, the switch-hitter was a valuable utility man and occasional starter in Anaheim, and has is a career .269/.331/.703 slash line.

While it’s unlikely Izturis figures heavily into the 25 man roster, he may actually be a savvy pick up on a minor league deal if he can stay healthy. Granted that’s a big IF, considering he has landed on the DL 11 times in his 11 year career.

Now 35, Izturis has been a capable infielder throughout his career at 2nd, 3rd and even short, and may prove to be a valuable depth addition. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could win the utility job in spring training, but it’s much more likely that he fills the role of keystone depth, recently vacated by fan favourite Munenori Kawasaki.

President Mark Shapiro has continued to target depth for the Blue Jays, or more specifically, “championship-calibre” depth. Given the overall talent of this roster and the potential for the starting rotation to do enough, moves like Izturis could prove to have a quiet value down the line if Toronto doesn’t find the same injury fortune as they did in 2015.