1:40pm: The Blue Jays have announced the signing of Dirks to a minor league deal.
1:28pm: The Blue Jays and outfielder Andy Dirks are in agreement on a minor league contract with an invite to big league Spring Training, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Toronto originally claimed the Frontline Athlete Management client off waivers from the Tigers in October but non-tendered him in December rather than pay a projected $1.6MM salary via arbitration.
The 28-year-old Dirks missed the entire 2014 season after his recovery from back surgery progressed slower than expected. He also suffered a hamstring injury while rehabbing his back, causing him to miss the final leg of the season.
When healthy from 2011-13 with the Tigers, Dirks proved himself to be a highly capable defender in the outfield corners, particularly in left field, where he spent most of his time. A career .276/.332/.413 hitter in 1063 plate appearances, Dirks, at his best, can provide league-average offense and solid glovework. Though his career average and on-base percentage are similar versus both right- and left-handed pitching, Dirks has shown more power against righties in the Majors. He can give Kevin Pillar some competition to serve as Toronto’s fourth outfielder and could find himself in a larger role if the highly touted but inexperienced Dalton Pompey proves unready to hold down an everyday center field job.