The Toronto Blue Jays are signing outfielder Wynton Bernard to a minor league contract. He will receive an invite to big league Spring Training.
Bernard, 32, was one of the biggest feelgood stories from the 2022 MLB season. He broke into the big leagues last year for the first time after spending a whopping ten seasons in the minor leagues without earning the big promotion.
Last season, he made the first 12 appearances of his major league career as a member of the Colorado Rockies. In 42 plate appearances, Bernanrd registered 12 hits (11 singles and a double), drove in three and stole three bases along the way.
Since being drafted in the 35th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres, Bernard has bounced around between the Padres, Tigers, Giants, Cubs and Rockies, even spending some time in Mexican and Australian leagues along the way.
Someone like Bernard is a true grinder and there's a reason why clubs have continued to keep him around despite the lack of a major league promotion over the years. He plays a really strong outfield defense at all three spots in the grass and is a total speed demon on the base paths.
Even in last year alone, Bernard showed just how valuable he can be. In 108 games for Triple-A Albuquerque in the Rockies organization, he hit 31 doubles, 21 home runs with 92 RBI, stole 30 bases and posted an impressive .333 batting average with a 138 wRC+.
As far as where he will slot into the organization, this feels like a pure depth move, at least for now. He will not join the Blue Jays' 40-man roster without another player being DFA'd since it is currently at full capacity. Instead, he will likely report to Triple-A Buffalo, where he should get consistent at bats as he looks to make another run at some time in the big leagues.