The Blue Jays continued to add to their organization on Thursday, signing Jake Elmore to a minor league contract.
We’re less than a week from pitchers and catchers reporting, which means the roster is fairly close to being set. That said, this is the time of year the minor tweaks and adjustments are made, and we saw the Blue Jays make one of those moves on Thursday, signing Jake Elmore to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Elmore appeared in 59 games for the San Diego Padres last season, and has played in parts of five seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, and Cincinnati Reds since 2012. He debuted with the Diamondbacks in 2012, playing in 30 games as a rookie.
Elmore batted .218/.371/.244 in 99 plate appearances last season, and has a career average of .215/.297/.280 in 418 career at bats. It’s likely he’ll serve as organizational depth in Triple-A Buffalo, possibly filling the role of the departed Andy Burns.
Elmore’s positional flexibility makes him an attractive asset for a number of reasons, even if he doesn’t play much with the stick. His ability to play at literally any position other than pitcher (though Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney did it, as Elmore also has in the past), makes him a manager’s dream for a roster. He’s capable of covering anywhere in the event of injury, including at second, third, and all 3 outfield positions as he did with San Diego last season.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith summed it up well with this tweet:
Elmore will look battle Barney, Goins, and perhaps others for the utility job on the bench, but will face an uphill battle, as Barney appears to be the favourite and Goins is out of options.
The 29 year old was a 35th round pick by the Diamondbacks in the 2008 amateur draft.