While the Blue Jays may lack a true, everyday left fielder, the upper management is doing their best to provide depth at the position. That trend continued today when the team signed former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata to a minor-league deal.
The Blue Jays aren’t quite done tinkering with their organizational depth, as they signed Jose Tabata to a MiLB deal on Friday. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, via his Twitter account, broke the news of the deal.
Tabata spent the 2016 split between the Mexican Professional leagues, and playing with the Oklahoma City Dodgers, the Triple A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tabata is a pure hitter, and his numbers back that up. A career .275/.336/.377, the 28-year-old Venezuelan has proven he can hit with the big boys at the major league level. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough for the Venezuelan to be able to find a big league job recently.
The issue that comes with Tabata lies in his durability. In six seasons with the Pirates, the right-handed hitting outfielder did not manage to play a single full season. After setting a career high in games played with 106 in 2013, Tabata played in only 80 games in 2014, and 27 in 2015.
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Unlike Upton Jr. and Carrera, Tabata manages to hit both right-handed and left-handed pitching well. Tabata is a career .272 hitter versus lefties, while hitting .276 versus righties. Having a guy who can hit pitching from either side is important for a contender. Even if Tabata can’t manage to start, he could be a solid bench piece down the stretch.
If Tabata can stay healthy, he has proven he can hit for contact in the big leagues and could very well find himself playing for the Blue Jays in 2017.
Plus, the guy knows how to break up a perfect game.