Blue Jays sign INF/OF Tyler Ladendorf to MiLB Deal

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20: Second baseman Tyler Ladendorf
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20: Second baseman Tyler Ladendorf /

In a minor move, the Blue Jays have added some positional depth, inking 30-year-old utilityman Tyler Ladendorf to a minor league contract. The move flew under the radar, having coincided with the start of the series against the Rangers.

On April 6th (yes, we’re a bit late), the Blue Jays inked former Oakland Athletic Tyler Ladendorf to a minor league contract, reports Baseball Toronto’s Keegan Matheson on Twitter. According to a separate tweet, Ladendorf will head to extended spring training before playing for a minor league affiliate.

In his 10 year career, Ladendorf has spent time in the Twins, Athletics and White Sox organizations, playing with a slew of minor league affiliates. He signed on with the White Sox on a minor-league deal but elected free agency in November.

He was taken 60th overall by the Twins in the 2008 draft, 12 spots ahead of all-star outfielder Charlie Blackmon and 13 spots ahead of Rockies reliever Bryan Shaw. He attended Howard College in Big Spring, TX.

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Most recently, he appeared in 60 games for the Charlotte Knights, Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate, slashing .250/.324/.350  in 200 at-bats. He is known primarily for his defensive versatility, having logged innings at second base, third base, and all three outfield positions. Interestingly enough, he also pitched one innings for the Athletics in 2016. He faced five batters, walking one and escaping unscathed.

In parts of two seasons in the bigs with Oakland, the Park Ridge, Illinois native appeared in 53 games, slashing .083/.102/.083 with a 0.2 dWAR, 3 RBI, and 2 stolen bases. During his stint with the A’s, he played seven different positions.

While he likely will not make an impact on the major league team, organizational depth of this kind is good to have, especially given the breadth of positions Ladendorf can play. Super-utility players seem to be the new trend in baseball, with many teams handing out roster spots to those who can play all around the diamond.

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He will most likely spend the season in Triple-A Buffalo, serving as a utilityman for the Bisons as they start the season.