Infielder Richard Urena is returning to the Blue Jays on a minor league contract, per a club announcement. He’ll be invited to Major League Spring Training. Toronto also confirmed its previously reported minor league pacts with outfielder Forrest Wall and corner infielder Tyler White. They’ll both be in camp this spring as well.
Urena, 24, spent parts of the 2017-19 seasons with the Blue Jays, appearing in a total of 91 games and hitting .253/.300/.336 through 263 trips to the plate. A versatile defender with a solid defensive reputation as a prospect and a strong throwing arm, Urena logged time at shortstop (394 innings), second base (173 innings) and third base (53 innings) as a member of the Blue Jays over that three-year span. Metrics like Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating weren’t particularly bullish on his work at shortstop in that time, but it’s a relatively small sample from which to draw conclusions.
Toronto tried to pass Urena through waivers back in January, but he ended up being claimed by the Orioles, who successfully passed him through waivers not long thereafter. Urena didn’t make the cut for the Orioles’ 60-man player pool in the shortened 2020 season, however, and he’ll now return to the Jays organization as a depth piece who could give them some cover at multiple positions in 2021.
In 670 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, Urena has posted a .250/.289/.373 batting line with 11 homers, 29 doubles, seven triples and five stolen bases (in 10 tries).