The Blue Jays have signed infielder Danny Espinosa to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports was first to report that Espinosa had been spotted in the Jays’ camp.
The Yankees signed the 30-year-old switch-hitter to a minor-league deal earlier in the offseason. At the time, he seemed to have at least an outside shot to crack the Bombers’ roster as the team’s second baseman or utility infielder. That door closed to a sliver, however, when the club acquired Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks, and slammed shut when the club signed veteran Neil Walker to a one-year, $4MM deal. With safer options in place, the Yanks released the veteran infielder; they had little reason to keep Espinosa around, who struggled to a .197/.286/.344 batting line with a 31.6% strikeout rate across the past two seasons.
A week ago, it would have seemed that Espinosa had even less of a chance to break through with the Jays. But following the news that Troy Tulowitzki is unlikely to be ready for opening day, there’s at least an opportunity for Espinosa to compete for an infield job in Toronto. That competition will be stiff, though; Devon Travis, Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte would seem to be firmly ahead of him on the depth chart.
Espinosa’s best seasons came with the Nationals from 2011-2012. During those seasons, he amassed 1,316 plate appearances and hit .242/.319/.408 with 38 homers and 37 steals. He was worth 6.8 fWAR during that span in part due to his sparkling defense at second base.