The Blue Jays have signed right-hander Casey Lawrence to a minor league deal, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. He will presumably receive an invitation to major league Spring Training.
Lawrence, 35, was also signed to a minor league deal by the Jays for some pitching depth in 2022. He eventually had his contract selected and threw 18 innings over six appearances but posted a 7.50 ERA in that time. He spent most of the year in Triple-A, where things went much better. Over 23 starts and 126 innings for the Bisons, he had a 2.79 ERA with a 21.9% strikeout rate, 3.5% walk rate and 43.5% ground ball rate. He was outrighted off the roster in November but is now back in the organization without taking up a roster spot.
For the Jays, their rotation currently projects to feature Kevin Gausman, Alek Manoah, Chris Bassitt and José Berríos in the first four spots, with Yusei Kikuchi and Mitch White candidates for the fifth. By adding Lawrence on a minor league pact, they’ve added another depth option to join Nate Pearson, Thomas Hatch, Yosver Zulueta and Bowden Francis.
Lawrence is now out of options and can no longer be easily shuffled between the majors and minors if he makes his way back onto the 40-man. He has just over one year of service time, meaning that he could be retained cheaply for the foreseeable future if earns and continues to hang onto a roster spot.