Blue Jays Re-Sign Munenori Kawasaki

The Blue Jays announced that they've re-signed infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Kawasaki is represented by Relativity Baseball (formerly known as SFX).

The 32-year-old Kawasaki batted .229/.326/.308 with a homer and seven stolen bases in 96 games (289 plate appearances) for the Blue Jays in 2013. He appeared at both second base and shortstop, providing Toronto manager John Gibbons with solid defense at each position. Kawaski's big personality made him a favorite both in the Blue Jays' clubhouse and with Toronto's fans.

A career .294/.345/.378 hitter in Nippon Professional Baseball, Kawasaki has batted at a .218/.306/.276 clip in 404 Major League plate appearances between the Mariners and Blue Jays since coming to the United States.


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68 Comments on "Blue Jays Re-Sign Munenori Kawasaki"


whit79
1 year 7 months ago

yahoooooooooooooo

user9999
1 year 7 months ago

Hope he makes the club this guy was a fan favorite and is someone who plays because he actually loves the game and not because of the money

Jaysfan724
1 year 7 months ago

Kawasaki isn’t that good (stating the obvious), but more guys in the game definitely should possess his attitude towards the game. Guy was just thankful for an opportunity to play and he made the most of it.

nickgarciataria
1 year 7 months ago

The difference between an ordinary .229 hitter and Kawasaki, is that Kawasaki gets his hits when it counts.

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

The jays finished 23 games out of first so i don’t think any situation really counted.

Runtime
1 year 7 months ago

Here we go again…

livestrong77nyyankz
1 year 7 months ago

It all counts and when it counts he has managed to put up a slash line of .229/.326/.308. Not impressive.

Jared S
1 year 7 months ago

I think the quality of his at bats do matter and those are not counted. The number of 7, 8, 9 pitch walks he drew were pretty valuable. He is better than the numbers and honestly, he is probably the starting 2nd baseman for now over Goins and Izturis.

EDIT- I do want to re-iterate that I do hope that AA does trade or get a proper 2nd baseman. But between the 3, He is my #9 batter

Jaysfan724
1 year 7 months ago

No way. Goins is #1 out of the 3…better bat and glove. Kawasaki is nothing greater than a bench player.

$3534462
1 year 7 months ago

Here’s hoping he’s in AAA when the O’s have to play the Blue Jays.

Runtime
1 year 7 months ago

I like this signing.
He was alright… I wouldn’t want him in an every day role like he was forced to last year.

But he’s a good guy on the bench. Grinds out a lot of at bats.

double m
1 year 7 months ago

He leaves everything on the field and the fans react accordingly. I’m glad he’s back.
Not an everyday but great for the bench.

Peterborough Dave
1 year 7 months ago

Good lord HOW is he great for the bench? Why do we Toronto sports fans absolutely worship mediocrity? No wonder we’ve had no championships in half a century!

Runtime
1 year 7 months ago

…Do you really think a .300 hitting middle infielder is going to be sitting on a bench somewhere?

No. They’re going to get an every day job…

What do you expect them to sign for a bench role? Give your head a shake.

ColoredPaper
1 year 7 months ago

Bam. Lawyered!

babaganoosh
1 year 7 months ago

Looks like somebody doesn’t know what half a century is.

Aron
1 year 7 months ago

Wow you Jays fans are messed up (coming from a fellow Jays fan). You guys want trades and FA signings to improve us at 2B and our bench and hate Goins/Izturis playing there but rejoice over Kawa who puts up similar numbers because his ‘personality.’ We dont need another player like him taking up a bench spot. We have got to get some veteran guys who have been proven hitters to be able to come off the bench for some key pinch hitting moments. I loved Kawa too but we have got to get better and unfortunately he is not the way

Runtime
1 year 7 months ago

Wait… what?
It’s a minor league signing. He might not even play a game in the bigs.

Even if he does, a .230 hitting middle infielder would be welcome on the bench for 30 MLB teams. Look at John McDonald for example.

GrilledCheese39
1 year 7 months ago

But John McDonald doesn’t hit .230 anymore

Aron
1 year 7 months ago

Fair enough, I seem to have already proclaimed he will make the team out of Spring Training which isn’t likely, but that reaction was mainly due to everyone liking this singing for the Jays as if it has the ability of having some tangible positive outcomes. Which I believe, it really doesn’t. And .230 isnt something welcome on 30 MLB teams, even the Indians have Raburn as a great bat coming off the bench as a MIF. And a lot of people seem to think his D is good, which I also disagree with, I witnessed him boot the ball quite a few times in tight games last year. And still it may seem like Im bashing Kawa but Im not, simply saying the Jays have to get better players for depth.

ziggy13
1 year 7 months ago

He gets on base at a decent clip and is a solid defender up the middle. He’s not starting the season as our 2B probably won’t even be on the 25 man. It’s a MINOR LEAGUE signing and a great depth move

Peterborough Dave
1 year 7 months ago

God I hope they didn’t need to use a 40 man spot for this guy. Yeah lots of fun to have around but I want to at least win a few games. Gibbons and his 8 man bullpen really doesn’t afford us the luxury of using this guy- basically the team mascot- on our scarce bench. Maybe if we had a 10 man pitching staff lol…..

Jacob Holton
1 year 7 months ago

When you sign someone to a minor league contract it doesn’t take up a 40 man spot, they count as a NRI.

Peterborough Dave
1 year 7 months ago

Good! I’d have been REALLY ticked had they wasted a roster spot on The Mascot.

Morley C
1 year 7 months ago

Ace is the mascot. Referring to this guy – an actual human being – as the mascot is kind of idiotic.

Morley C
1 year 7 months ago

Ace is the mascot. Referring to this guy – an actual human being – as the mascot is kind of idiotic.

RedTigersWS
1 year 7 months ago

Awesome can’t wait until spring training!

Amorak
1 year 7 months ago

Forget the stats! Teams can be much more than the sum of individual stats.Things happen when Kawasaki plays! His teammates get excited. The fans get excited. At the end of the day, MLB needs entertaining teams. Baseball and the Jays are a lot more fun and exciting with Kawasaki. Very pleased.

ToTheMaxy
1 year 7 months ago

I agree Amorak! Who cares if we finish dead last in the division!? As long as we have fun, entertaining characters on the team who people love then we’re all winners!

Terrible signing. Terrible baseball player.

Amorak
1 year 7 months ago

Here’s the counterpoint. All of us can name a dozen or more great athletes who were bad teammates. They were either too negative, uncoachable, too self-centred, whatever.

If you’ve played team sports, especially at championship levels then you know that most teams have one or two guys who are there for reasons other than raw skills, whether it’s an enforcer in hockey or a small speedster / ball handler in basketball. These guys are disruptive and can cause the rest of the team to raise their games.

Teams need inspiration and motivation. Certainly Kawasaki is good enough to have the opportunity to try out for a MLB team.He’s also highly motivational. Any team finding itself behind six runs needs somebody to lead the charge, and leading the charge does not mean that you need to be the guy who hits the homer. Without Davis, Kawasaki may be that guy.

And I never feel the need to call anybody a “terrible baseball player.” There’s just no need.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Sure, perhaps Mune can do his rendition of swan lake in the dugout when the Jays are losing 12-0. I agree with some here who say he’s harmless… not necessarily costing the Jays much.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Sure, perhaps Mune can do his rendition of swan lake in the dugout when the Jays are losing 12-0. I agree with some here who say he’s harmless… not necessarily costing the Jays much.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

I hear ya. But Kawasaki was on the last place Seattle Mariners in 2012. And on the last place Blue Jays in 2013. Perhaps he’s bad joojoo?

Shane
1 year 7 months ago

Bring on the World Series!!

Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 7 months ago

This guy is the closest thing to Isuro Tanaka. I would love to see him do a spin, make a bare handed catch, spike the ball, and finish it with a fighting stance.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

I feel like fans would’ve rioted if this hadn’t happened

Jeremy Russell
1 year 7 months ago

No not really. A lot of fans were prepared to see him head back to Japan.

Dawson Carlson
1 year 7 months ago

Well no.. Not really. Have you seen his interviews ? Seems like he really loves playing over here and I’m sure a lot of Jays fans would’ve been pretty upset if he signed elsewhere.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 7 months ago

Nothing wrong with a “Good” Riot, KarKat!
Especially, when it’s for a good cause! =P

rikersbeard
1 year 7 months ago

Jays need middle infield depth. now they just need a starting 2B.

Dawson Carlson
1 year 7 months ago

He is Japanese.

Morley C
1 year 7 months ago

I think you mean “Japaneeeeeeeese”

Morley C
1 year 7 months ago

I think you mean “Japaneeeeeeeese”

connfyoozed .
1 year 7 months ago

I love to watch this guy play the game. Not a ton of skills, but more than a ton of heart. I hope he keeps chasing the dream in America.

Patrick
1 year 7 months ago

and Canada as well.

CountOmar
1 year 7 months ago

Let’s face it, the Jays won’t compete this year anyway… Might as well give the fans something to cheer about.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

That’s what bugs me. Jays are already fighting for fourth place. And this is the most exciting news out of the Jays off season?

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 7 months ago

Kawaski’s big personality made him a favorite both in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse and with Toronto’s fans. This guy is Awesome and a lot of fun! He even beat my Orioles and I remember the interview. The people love him!

PS This is the kind of signing that the Orioles will never do.
Duquette has no idea, Showalter, and Angelos none either!

FOmeOLS
1 year 7 months ago

I remember that game. Even though he beat us, I remember him coming out of the dugout for a bow to the fans, and thinking that he was a really great guy.
Good for him!

Jaysfan724
1 year 7 months ago

Kawasaki burned the O’s twice. The walkoff win, and then his first career MLB home run tied the game another time which the Jays eventually walked off in the 9th.

Dawson Carlson
1 year 7 months ago

Mune also grinds out his AB’s. I’m not as crazy about him as some but I remember him working a lot of full counts and seeing a lot of pitches

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

AA is backing up the truck on .230 hitters! Get enough of them and one of them is bound to over-achieve and hit… .240. Kawasaki was fun, but let’s move on (and improve).

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

PS… Mune speaks fluent English. It’s all a show. He’s like Kissinger. haha

David Stewart
1 year 7 months ago

It’s ok folks he just hit his head.

TO647
1 year 7 months ago

Kawasaki wasn’t just fun, he gave the team a huge lift when it needed it…coming through in the clutch, grinding out long at-bats, bunting runners over…you know, things the team struggled to do last season! Since you’re so concerned with batting avg, tell me which .300 hitter AA should’ve signed to a minor league deal…don’t worry, I’ll wait.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

who said find a minor league player who hits .300?? I’ll wait.

Jays need a front line starter, 2B, another catcher and a good bat off the bench. I’m glad you’re preoccupied with minor league players. We need major league players more. And if you say Mune is a reliable bat off the bench, a few at-bats and a game winning hit isn’t enough to get excited about.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

oh, and the Jays need a new manager!

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

oh, and the Jays need a new manager!

TO647
1 year 7 months ago

I understand that Muni isn’t the best ballplayer, but out of all the Jays bench players with 200+ at bats, he had the highest OBP at .326, tied with Mark DeRosa. That number isn’t very impressive, but then I found out with 2 outs and RISP, he hit .280 with a .419 OBP! that OBP surprised me and tells me that this guy can get the little things done, when given the opportunity. As long as Muni only plays 45-50 games coming off the bench, I don’t see how he’s a detriment to the team.

For what it’s worth, I remember Muni having TWO game-winning hits.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

touche.

But still last place.

Bluejays31
1 year 7 months ago

KAAAAAWWAAAASSSSAAAAAKKKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!