Blue Jays sign infielder Ernie Clement to a minor league contract

New York Mets v Oakland Athletics
New York Mets v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays are signing utilityman Ernie Clement to a minor league contract. He will also receive an invite to big league Spring Training.

Ben Nicholson-Smith had it first with the team officially announcing the signing a few minutes later.

Clement, 26, was only just released by the Oakland Athletics on March 12th. At the time, it seemed he was being cut loose as a courtesy by the A's to allow him to latch on with another club before Spring Training was over. This seems to be exactly the case.

The versatile infielder made his big league debut in 2021 with the Cleveland Guardians, making it into 40 games that year and hitting the first (and to this point, only) three home runs of his career. He hit .231 with a 71 OPS+ while lining up at second base, third base, shortstop and left field.

Last year, he played 69 games, 63 in Cleveland and six in Oakland. He had 30 hits (only four extra-base hits) and saw his average dip to .184 and OPS+ all the way down to 33.

Clement can play all over the place which adds to his value. He has rated as an average defender in the early goings of his career and his ability to play both infield and outfield was undoubtedly of importance to the Blue Jays.

At the plate, he offers a low-power, high-contact and high-speed profile that the Jays have come to love over the years. He has hit only 11 home runs in his entire professional career but he has 18 triples and 43 stolen bases and .273 average in the minor leagues.

He figures to slot directly into the middle infield picture for the Triple-A Bisons alongside Otto Lopez, who is of a similar player profile. Since each of these players have big league experience, it is not out of the question that they both could see some time in the bigs later this season.

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