The Blue Jays have signed first baseman/outfielder Luke Scott to a minor league contract, reports SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The Page Odle/PSI Sports Management client will report to Triple-A tomorrow, he adds.
Scott, 36, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since a 2013 stint with the Rays. He spent part of the 2014 season playing with the SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization, slashing an impressive .267/.392/.505 with six homers in 33 games. He opened the season in the Mexican League, enjoying similar success with a .292/.400/.519 batting line and seven bombs in 28 games.
At his best, Scott would offer plus left-handed power and a keen eye that resulted in healthy walk rates. He’s a career .258/.340/.481 hitter in 3193 big league plate appearances, with his most impressive work coming from 2006-10 with the Astros and Orioles, when he posted a 126 OPS+, indicating that he was 26 percent better than a league-average hitter after accounting for park factors.
Scott was never known for his defense, but both Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved give him slightly positive marks for his career work in left field. Of course, it seems doubtful that he’d still be capable of playing an average or better corner outfield. Even in his 2013 stint with Tampa, he logged just 21 innings in the outfield, and he hasn’t seen any significant Major League time there since 2011 with Baltimore. Presumably, Scott will hope to slug his way to the big league roster and stick as a bench bat, or part-time DH/first baseman. It’s not difficult to envision a scenario where he hits well enough to challenge Justin Smoak for his spot on the roster.