Blue Jays: Former Jays Find New Homes in 2018

BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 29: Adam Lind /

As Opening Day quickly approaches, rosters are beginning to fall into place. With major league squads making some finishing touches to their teams, let’s take a look at some former Toronto Blue Jays who have recently signed new contracts.

Salty back in Detroit

Veteran backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who appeared in just 10 games last season for the Jays before being released, has landed a MiLB deal with the Detroit Tigers, the team with which he spent the 2016 campaign. Atkins and Shapiro had high hopes for Saltalamacchia, affectionately referred to as “Salty”. They planned for him to be the backup to Russell Martin to take a load off their primary catcher.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, as Salty got off to a dreadful start, striking out in 16 of his 25 at-bats and slashing a horrendous .040/.077/.040. While it’s unlikely he’ll make the major league team, Salty is expected to be the starting catcher for the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens.

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Valencia Flies to Camden

33-year old utility man Danny Valencia, who spent parts of two seasons north of the border, is heading to Baltimore on a deal that will give him $1.2 million in base salary should he make the major league roster. Valencia enjoyed his most successful stint with the Jays in 2015, where he appeared in 58 games slashing a solid .296/.331/.506 primarily playing the corner outfield positions and third base. He was then DFA’d by the team in August due to his lack of options and an influx of new faces in the Blue Jays locker room. Since leaving the GTA, the Miami native has spent time with the Mariners and the Athletics.

Lind Joins the Empire

Adam Lind, who won a Silver Slugger award for the Blue Jays in 2009, is headed to the Bronx on a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. Over 9 seasons with the Jays, Lind hit 146 bombs (placing him 9th on the team’s all-time home run leaderboard), slashing .273/.327/.466 in a combined 953 games at first base, left field and as a designated hitter. During his tenure in Toronto, Lind lived with his wife in Richmond Hill, a suburb of the Six (and the hometown of a certain Jays Journal writer). Lind has since spent some time in Washington, Seattle, and Milwaukee, enjoying modest success with the Nats as their primary first baseman last season. Lind’s new deal with the Yankees will provide him with the opportunity to squeeze into the majors one last time, given the delicate first base situation in the Big Apple.

Next: Blue Jays Key to Success #4

As spring training continues to hold us over, it’s always fun to take a look at what some past Blue Jays are up to these days. Still unemployed are Henderson Alvarez, former fan-favourite Aaron Hill, and the recently released Dustin McGowan.