Blue Jays officially sign Rafael Dolis, designate Breyvic Valera

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 09: Rafael Dolis #48 of the Chicago Cubs closes the game against the Atlanta Braves on May 9, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Atlanta Braves 1-0. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 09: Rafael Dolis #48 of the Chicago Cubs closes the game against the Atlanta Braves on May 9, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Atlanta Braves 1-0. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays officially announced the signing of reliever Rafael Dolis to a one-year deal with a club option for 2021, infielder Breyvic Valera was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for the signing.

Although news of the signing broke on January 25th, the deal between the Blue Jays and Rafael Dolis did not become official until yesterday. The 32-year old will earn a guaranteed $1 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million team option for 2021 according to Baseball-Reference.

Dolis last pitched in the majors in 2013 with the Chicago Cubs having spent the past four seasons abroad in the Japan Central League with the Hanshin Tigers. The right-hander made 56 appearances in 2019 accumulating a 5-4 record with a 2.11 earned run average and 19 saves in 57.1 innings for the Tigers.

The veteran hurler collected 96 saves while in Japan and will add some much-needed experience at the backend of the bullpen. Dolis can step in and close games in the event that Ken Giles needs a night off or gets injured throughout the course of the 2020 campaign.

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Dolis joins Giles, Thomas Pannone, Anthony Bass, Wilmer Font, and Sam Gaviglio as the six front runners for the bullpen. The likes of Shun Yamaguchi, Jordan Romano, A.J. Cole, and Justin Miller will all be vying for one of the few remaining spots.

In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Dolis, the Blue Jays designated infielder Breyvic Valera for assignment. The 28-year old was claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees late last season and appeared in five games for Toronto.

Valera has 54 MLB games under his belt over parts of three seasons with the Cardinals, Dodgers, Orioles, Yankees and Blue Jays. The middle infielder sports a career .223/.294/.298 slash line with 27 hits including a home run in 138 plate appearances.

The native of Venezuela was part of the package headed to Baltimore when the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado in the summer of 2018.  The middle infielder is positioned to begin the season in Triple-A Buffalo and is seen more as an organizational depth piece if he clears waivers this time around.

Next. Blue Jays sign southpaw Brian Moran. dark

Hopefully, the Blue Jays get the Japanese League version of Dolis and not the Dolis who sports a 5.48 earned run average in 40 career MLB games. Low-risk signing regardless but hopefully, it works out.

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