The Blue Jays have signed infielder Ernie Clement to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. The A’s released Clement over the weekend.
Clement, 27 next week, had gone 2-for-11 with a walk, a strikeout and a stolen base in camp with Oakland, who claimed him off waivers from the Guardians back in September. He’s totaled 312 plate appearances and appeared in 109 big league games over the past two seasons, posting a tepid .204/.261/.264 batting line in that time. He’s also posted plus defensive grades in a small sample of innings at third base and is capable of bouncing around the entire infield.
The versatile Clement has spent parts of three seasons in Triple-A, where he’s a .261/.311/.419 hitter with experience at all four infield positions and in left field (to say nothing of extensive work at center field back in his college days at the University of Virginia). He’s not on the 40-man roster for now, but if the Jays eventually add him, he does have a minor league option remaining.
Toronto has a full big league infield and already has multiple bench spots allotted to infielders Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal, so the addition of Clement is likely just a pure depth move. Barring some late injuries in camp, he’ll likely open in the upper minors and give the organization some defensive versatility and a bit of speed to stash in Buffalo.