Blue Jays All-Time Lists

Blue Jays: Top 10 International Free Agents

SEATTLE - AUGUST 13: Carlos Delgado #35 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats against the Seattle Mariners during the game on August 13, 2003 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 13-6. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE - AUGUST 13: Carlos Delgado #35 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats against the Seattle Mariners during the game on August 13, 2003 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 13-6. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 5
Next
Blue Jays
TORONTO, CANADA – APRIL 22: Miguel Castro #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles on April 22, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Drafting is one way of developing your team, but another way is going the International Free Agent route.  Over the course of the Blue Jays franchise they have acquired a handful players that have been cornerstones of the organization.  Here is a list of the top 10 Blue Jays international free agent signings.

10. Miguel Castro
The Blue Jays signed Miguel Castro just two weeks after his 17th birthday back in 2012 for just $43,000.  Three years after his signing and at just 20-years of age, Castro was closing out games to start the 2015 season for the Blue Jays.  After just 18 appearances and four saves, Castro was showing signs of struggling with control and was sent back down to the minors to develop a little more.  Toronto would be in a playoff hunt by mid season and used Castro as part of the package to acquire Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins.

To date, Castro has pitched in over 200 big league games between Toronto, Colorado and now Baltimore.  Now at the age of 25-years old, Castro has established himself as a full-time bullpen arm with the Orioles pitching in over 60 games the last two seasons.

27 Feb 2000: Cesar Izturis #60 of the Toronto Blue Jays poses for a studio portrait on Photo Day during Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran /Allsport
27 Feb 2000: Cesar Izturis #60 of the Toronto Blue Jays poses for a studio portrait on Photo Day during Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran /Allsport /

9. Cesar Izturis
In the summer of 1996, the Blue Jays signed 16-year old Venezuelan middle infielder Cesar Izturis and he developed through the Blue Jays organization.  In 2001, after batting .292 in AAA, Izturis was called up and played 46 games for the Jays batting .269, going 8-9 in stolen bases and striking out just 15 times to go with eight extra base hits.

After that season, the Blue Jays fell into the J.P. Ricciardi years and he started making trades including their All-Star reliever (Paul Quantrill) and Izturis for Luke Prokopec.

Izturis would go on to play in over 1,300 major league games, winning a gold glove and being named to the All-Star Game in 2005.  Prokopec would start 12 games and come out of the bullpen for 10 more in 2002 with a 6.78 ERA and never pitch in the major leagues again. Izturis also has the distinction of being traded for Greg Maddux straight up.

facebooktwitterreddit