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.

68 Responses to Blue Jays Re-Sign Munenori Kawasaki Leave a Reply

  1. whit79 2 years ago


  2. user9999 2 years 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 2 years 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.

  3. nickgarciataria 2 years ago

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

    • jjs91 2 years ago

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

    • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

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

  4. $3534462 2 years ago

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

  5. Runtime 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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.

        • babaganoosh 2 years ago

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

  6. Aron 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

        But John McDonald doesn’t hit .230 anymore

      • Aron 2 years 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 2 years 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

  7. Peterborough Dave 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

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

        • Morley C 2 years ago

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

        • Morley C 2 years ago

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

  8. RedTigersWS 2 years ago

    Awesome can’t wait until spring training!

  9. Amorak 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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?

  10. Shane 2 years ago

    Bring on the World Series!!

  11. Ruben_Tomorrow 2 years 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.

  12. Karkat 2 years ago

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

    • Jeremy Russell 2 years ago

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

      • Dawson Carlson 2 years 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 2 years ago

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

  13. rikersbeard 2 years ago

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

  14. Dawson Carlson 2 years ago

    He is Japanese.

  15. connfyoozed . 2 years 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.

  16. CountOmar 2 years ago

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

    • BadBJay 2 years 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?

  17. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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.

  18. Dawson Carlson 2 years 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

  19. BadBJay 2 years 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 2 years ago

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

    • TO647 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

          oh, and the Jays need a new manager!

        • BadBJay 2 years ago

          oh, and the Jays need a new manager!

        • TO647 2 years 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 2 years ago


            But still last place.

  20. Bluejays31 2 years ago


  21. Bluejays31 2 years ago

    Everyone who doesn’t follow the jays daily and watch every game don’t know how important Kawasaki was last year. The fans loved him and he inspired his teammates to go on that big win streak in June. A normal person would look at the stats and classify him as a poor major league player. I’ll be the first one to admit I was very skeptical when the jays signed him in April

  22. ice_hawk10 2 years ago

    A surprisingly valuable player. 0.8 WAR in less than 300 PA’s (not that I’d want him to get any more). Pretty good defence (though probably better suited to 2B than SS on account of a relatively weak arm) and just a grinder at the plate. Not that he barrels it up a tonne, but he very rarely swings through anything and thus, through the sheer number of pitches he made opposing pitchers throw, managed to post a better than league average OBP last year. A great guy to have on your bench or grinding out AB’s at the bottom of your lineup

  23. Lucas Kschischang 2 years ago

    Jays fan logic: celebrate the signing of Kawasaki, hate on the signing of Navarro.

    • BadBJay 2 years ago

      Navarro signing wasn’t bad… not great either. He is a platoon catcher who had a better than average season with the bat… at Wrigley. I would love to see his Wrigley numbers vs. the road.

  24. Amorak 2 years ago

    I love baseball, first. And it’s great if my team wins.

  25. BadBJay 2 years ago

    here, here!

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